Look out gay
bashers and assorted criminals, Officer Shaq is on the beat.
was sworn in as a Miami Beach reserve police officer
Thursday, with the Miami Heat center choosing to skip a
public event in favor of a quiet, no-frills ceremony.
"Officer O'Neal is very considerate toward the other
officers, and he was afraid if he was there he would
have taken away from that moment for other officers,"
department spokesman Robert Hernandez said. "This is a very
special time for them and their families."
The former Lakers
center was a reserve officer in Los Angeles before
moving to Florida. He spent the past year training as a
Miami Beach police reserve officer and can now add the
$1-a-year salary to his $100 million, five-year
contract with the Heat. The 7-foot-1 player will be
able to carry a gun, wear a badge, and make arrests, but
with his celebrity status, he most likely will not
walk a beat or go undercover. He will work as time
permits in the volunteer position.
headlines in September when he helped make an arrest in an
alleged gay-bashing incident. After seeing a man hit another
man with bottle while yelling antigay slurs at a
passerby, O'Neal trailed the attacker and helped an
officer arrest him as a hate-crimes suspect.
O'Neal has said
he is most interested in working with the special victims
detective unit to help stop crimes against children. "He
made it clear when he decided to go to Miami Beach
that he didn't want to just be a poster boy for photo
ops; he wanted to get down and dirty and do the job,"
Hernandez said. "He's here to conduct investigations and to
make arrests." (AP)