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  • How about this guy for a partner?

    Port of L.A. police name O'Neal a reserve officer
    Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES -- First comes his third-consecutive NBA championship, then plans to produce a television drama. Now basketball star Shaquille O'Neal wants to be a police officer.

    The Daily Breeze newspaper reported that O'Neal has been designated a second-class reserve officer by the police department of the Port of Los Angeles.

    O'Neal, 30, has previously said he might consider a career in law enforcement when he retires from basketball.

    This week, the entertainment trade newspaper Variety reported he had also met with executives from the major networks to pitch a one-hour drama that he would executive produce.

    The basketball star -- who also has acted in the movie "Kazaam" and recorded the rap album "Shaq Diesel" -- has now completed enough training to fight crime with senior officers and carry a gun.

  • #2
    First of all, in California there is no such thing as a "second class Reserve Officer." He is most likely a Level II reserve, which means he can ride patrol while accompanied by a full-time officer, or another reserve who has the equivalent of a full-time academy under his belt. As long as he is on duty and is accompanied by either one of these types of officers, he has full peace officer powers.

    Second, Shaq taking ANY part in a law enforcement agency is going to be disruptive to that agency's day-to-day operations, just because of his celebrity status. It's already bad enough that LASD had to arrange a special academy class for Shaq to attend ALONE, at an undisclosed off-site location, to prevent reporters and fans from disrupting normal academy operations.

    That department's poor dispatchers are going to be bombarded with phone calls from fans wanting to leave messages for Shaq, if not to dispatch him to their home (never mind that Port Police does NOT go to anybody's home). It wouldn't surprise me to find truly desperate fans committing traffic violations in front of Port Police vehicles in the hope of getting ticketed by Shaq himself!

    Third, Shaq is just going to be absolutely miserable driving anything that a LE agency normally uses. I once had a partner who, at a mere 6'6, was miserable riding shotgun in a patrol car, due to the placement of the MDT, shotgun, and especially the prisoner cage interfering with seat travel. I don't think Shaq will fit in ANY vehicle that has a cage fitted.

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    • #3
      Does he really think he can be an effective police officer with his celebrity status? If he really cares about enforcing the law he should have considered how disruptive his presence would be and gone about a career in LE another way. You'd think someone in the department would have advised him of this. What a jerk.

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      • #4
        He'll wind up doing PR work for the department, if anything at all. That's all they got him for was the publicity. His lifestyle & other business ventures won't allow him much time to do anything anyway. It's just hype.

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        • #5
          Wow, you guys are harsh

          There is no doubt there are some serious problems with him actally patroling.
          But I tend to think Port of LA PD are not idiots and are aware of this and discussed it with him. And I am willing to bet they bent over backwards for him because of his previous public support of law enforcment and because it is a great PR and community relations move. I seriously doubt we are ever going to see the day Shaq is riding around on patrol.

          Until then, I applaud Shaq. Exactly how many black professional athletes of his stature show public support for the police? With all the money and success, this guy still comes out publicly and says he would love to be a cop. I find that is commendable.

          In re: to him being a jerk. This is the same jerk who after a couple of Police cruisers were destroyed during a riot after the Lakers won the NBA title, Shaq paid out his own pocket to have them replaced. To me, this jerk is the kind of pro athlete I don't mind young kids looking up to as a role model.

          There really are some people out there who are only happy when they are complaining.

          [ 07-12-2002: Message edited by: Nittany Lion ]

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          • #6
            I don't know anything about bball and I'm not a fan so I don't keep up with how much money he gave who. I just think anyone who requires that much attention is a jerk

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            • #7
              He's from Louisiana and played at LSU. Even way back then he always talked about the police. I think his grandfather was a policeman. One good thing PR or not at least he's on OUR SIDE and not supporting some guy trying to get him off of death row and found innocent.
              Stay safe and watch your back. Survived Katrina. Now a Official member of the Chocolate City Police.

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              • #8
                Like the time Riddick Bowe wanted to be a Marine. He lasted about 3 days on Parris Island.
                On the wings of a dove
                Let's roll for justice
                Let's roll for truth
                Let's not let our children grow up
                Fearful in their youth -- Neil Young

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                • #9
                  Don't get me wrong. I think it is great that he wants to be a police officer & is definitely pro-police. 'Course now, if he had this burning desire back in college or whenever & chose to go with the basketball & big money...no, on second thought I guess I can't blame him too much for that (he does have the size & abilities for the game). Still, in the long run, it's not going to be all that good for the department he's joining. Chuck Norris comes out & rides with the Sheriff's Office here in Texas where he lives & they say it is quite a hassle. But, again, I am glad they're on our side.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nittany Lion: There really are some people out there who are only happy when they are complaining.
                    MOST of us aren't complaining about Shaq's support of LE, or his desire to become a cop. As long as he wasn't given any special breaks over any other recruit (with the exception of the off-site academy classes -- that had to be done to prevent the media from disrupting the academy), and poured his sweat and his blood into the effort like the rest of us, then he's earned the right to become a cop.

                    But we are being realistic...Shaq being a reserve cop AND a pro basketball player simultaneously will induce more headaches than it's worth for the publicity purposes. And I feel Shaq being specifically recruited by the Port Police was done for selfish reasons...not on Shaq's part, but on the part of Port Police, an agency that prior to this was largely unknown, including to many LA-area cops like myself. They did it purely for the publicity. It's not like Shaq sent out applications and the only one that was willing to hire him was Port Police.

                    You are correct, Shaq probably won't do a single day of actual patrol (aside from a "media run"); he'll simply be fancy dressing for the department. However, that smacks in the face of hard-working reserves all over the state (if not the country), who have to juggle the demands of a full-time job and family with the training requirements of being a reserve. The hard work for these folks doesn't end on graduation day; they have another 400+ hours of patrol work ahead of them if they desire to keep their badges.

                    Now that ports and harbors are possible terrorist targets themselves, is Shaq going to do his part to help protect them? Is he going to work a boring graveyard shift in the rain like everybody else? If an incident does happen at the Port, is he willing to put his life and career on hold while he does a duty that he swore to the people of California that he would? Is he willing to tell the NBA "Sorry, I can't make it for that game, my SWORN duty comes first"? Is he actually going to show up for his court subpoenas, even if it conflicts with game scheduling? If he turns out to be a total loser of a cop, does his FTO, and better yet does the supervisory/command staff have the huevos muy grandes to tell Shaq that he's simply not cut out for this and needs to resign before being terminated? Only time will tell.

                    If Shaq wanted to become a cop, personally I think he should have waited until he retired from pro basketball. He's already shown his support for LE by replacing those two destroyed LAPD cruisers out of his own pocket.

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