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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Shaquille O'Neal exchanged his Lakers uniform for a Port Authority Police one at the second annual California Gold Star Awards, where he was among those honored for helping with homeland security.
The fund-raiser Saturday night at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim raised about $250,000 for the Orange County Reserve Deputy Sheriff's Association.

O'Neal spent roughly 1,000 hours training to join the police force. The event marked the first time he publicly donned his uniform.

He regaled the crowd with his first experiences as an officer.

"I went out and the first call we came upon was a 261, that's a rape,'' he said. O'neal said he was the first one in the house. When he pulled out his gun, the suspect turned and said, "Shaq, I just saw the game. What are you doing?''

MassCops Founder
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LOS ANGELES -- Sheriff Shaq?

The towering center for the Los Angeles Lakers has lofty law enforcement aspirations and has even started taking special classes to be part of a police reserve force that patrols the area's ports.


"I just have a love for policemen because they've always been the real heroes in my life," Shaquille O'Neal told the Los Angeles Daily News in a recent interview. "I would like to have a leadership role."

When he's not throwing down dunks or muscling for position on the court, O'Neal is attending classes offered by the county's Sheriff's Department for harbor patrol duty. The classes, taught by volunteer reserves, began in September and end in February.

O'Neal, 29, even has a custom-fitted uniform and size 22EEE boots. Law enforcement officials know they have a potential recruiting spokesman in the charismatic NBA superstar but say O'Neal has not asked for any special privileges.

"It's great, it's wonderful, it's a boon to law enforcement, to the port police and to the county of Los Angeles," said sheriff's Capt. Garry Leonard, leader of the Reserve Forces Bureau charged with training Shaq.

Law enforcement agencies have been smitten with O'Neal. Oxnard police offered to buy him a custom Lincoln Navigator if he would wear their uniform. And, the Orange County (Fla.) Sheriff's Department in Orlando has made O'Neal an honorary deputy.

Most departments agree they would love to have O'Neal on their force.

"He would definitely make an imposing officer," said Orange County (Fla.) Sheriff's spokesman Jim Solomons. "I'd love to see Shaq be the first through the door on a drug warrant."

O'Neal will have to find time between practices and games to find time for police work. Reserve officers commit about 20 hours a month.

His ultimate goal is to be a sheriff, possibly in Florida, where he has a home or Louisiana, where he graduated from Louisiana State University. He said he would not run for sheriff in Los Angeles "because you never bite the hand that feeds you. Noel Cunningham and Sheriff Lee Baca gave me this opportunity.

"My goal is to eventually run for sheriff. But in the role of sheriff you really don't need police experience because it's like a political position. However, if I'm going to do it and be with the troops, and get respect from the troops, I want to do what the troops have done."

MassCops Founder
6,413 Posts
A little more info on Officer Shaq

(Note: The Oxnard Police Department became aware that Mr. O'Neal made statements about his desire to begin a career in law enforcement after his retirement from the NBA. In the open letter below, Oxnard Police Chief Art Lopez invites Mr. O'Neal to consider a career with the Oxnard Police Department.)

July 25, 2001

Mr. Shaquille O'Neal, Center
Los Angeles Lakers
Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA 90001

Dear Mr. O'Neal:

I learned recently that you are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement at the end of your playing days with the Los Angeles Lakers. I would like to extend an invitation to you to come to Oxnard and see what we have to offer with respect to a position with our police department. Our department has a lot to offer someone like you who is interested in police work as a second career.

I know you would enjoy working on California's Gold Coast with our perfect climate, clean air, and miles of beaches all while staying in close proximity to the Los Angeles area. Our four-day work week could allow you to pursue other interests such as furthering your acting career and taping those Taco Bell ads. We'd be happy to special order your uniform and police equipment to ensure the right fit for you. Further, with your affinity toward Lincoln Navigators we plan to special order one with extra legroom and a moon-roof over the driver's side that should serve nicely as your patrol vehicle.

Besides patrol assignments we have several other units you may be interested in working. Our K-9 Unit is one of the best in the state, the SWAT team is a popular assignment, and there are plenty of great detective positions. It may prove a little difficult to have you work undercover but I'm sure we can find lots of things for you to that would put your extensive talents to work.

I've included an Oxnard Police Department application for your review. Take your time filling it out as we have three years until your start date. I fully realize you have some important basketball business to take care of in the meantime. Please don't let us distract you from winning three more straight NBA titles.

I would however like to personally invite you to come to Oxnard and participate in a ride-a-long. Experiencing first hand all that Oxnard has to offer will certainly provide the incentive for you to consider us for your law enforcement career choice. In all seriousness we would love to talk to you about your interest in a career here in Oxnard. I look forward to hearing from you very soon.


Art Lopez
Chief of Police

Shaq may trade ball for badge; Oxnard is ready

Change in Uniform?

At the age of 29, Los Angeles Laker Shaquille O'Neal has publicly pondered the possibility of police work, and Oxnard Police Chief Art Lopez has wasted no time suggesting that when Shaq quits dunking basketballs, there will be a place to dunk doughnuts in Oxnard.
Although he is on vacation, Lopez fired off a letter Wednesday on city-of-Oxnard stationery to "Mr. O'Neal," painting the Oxnard Police Department as a kind of Shaq-ri-La, complete with a four-day workweek, and the promise of a Lincoln Navigator police cruiser, custom-made, of course, with a "moon-roof over the driver's side" and extra leg room.

"Our department has a lot to offer someone like you who is interested in police work as a second career," Lopez wrote.

The chief pledged to special-order a uniform to fit O'Neal's 330-pound, 7-foot-1 frame.

"In all seriousness we would love to talk to you about your interest in a career here in Oxnard," the letter said. An application form was included.

Lopez could not be reached for comment, but Assistant Chief John Crombach said the department decided to make the pitch to Laker No. 34 after hearing a radio report of his law-enforcement leanings.

O'Neal suggested two months ago on cable TV's ESPN that he's seriously considering a career as a cop. He made similar comments in an interview with a San Jose-based publication earlier this year. And he repeated his wish last week while taping an appearance on the cable cooking show "Half Baked."

"Seriously. Don't laugh," he reportedly told Silicon Valley Magazine. "I'm thinking about being a sheriff somewhere."

Sheriff? Whoa, back up Shaq. How about Oxnard police officer?

"I said, you know, somebody is going to get him and we can sit and watch it happen, or do something about it," Crombach said.

So he called Lopez in Tahoe and the Shaq attack was on. But, although the department has done everything short of cry, "Shaq 34, where are you?" there's yet to be a response.

Calls to O'Neal's agent received a less-than-promising response. Halfway through an explanation from a reporter that O'Neal had been offered a job by the Oxnard Police Department, an annoyed secretary replied, "Uh hm ... I'm going to have to take a message."

Nonetheless, Crombach said the department is ready whenever Shaq is. There can be little doubt that he'd meet the physical requirements. But considering his performance in the NBA, serious questions would surely have to be raised regarding shooting accuracy from a distance of more than 15 feet.

The move certainly would add dimension to an already varied career as an athlete, rapper and movie star.

As a rap musician, O'Neal titled an album "Shaq Diesel," and produced songs like "Shoot Pass Slam," "(I Know I Got) Skillz" and "I'm Outstanding." A follow-up album was titled "Shaq-Fu: Da Return."

As a cop in Ventura County, who knows what titles might come to mind?

Shaq Hueneme? Shaq Mugu? Shaq Nard?

Or maybe just "Stop or I'll Shaq."

Police Interested in Officer Shaq

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) - Shaquille O'Neal recently expressed an interest in a law enforcement career after basketball. Now he's got an offer that includes a four-day work week, a customized uniform and a sport utility patrol vehicle.

``I would like to extend an invitation to you to come to Oxnard and see what we have to offer with respect to a position with our department,'' Oxnard Police Chief Art Lopez said in a letter dated Wednesday to the 29-year-old Lakers center.

The job comes with a few perks. Lopez said the department would special order his uniform and equipment to ensure the right fit for the 7-foot-1, 315-pounder.

O'Neal also would get his choice of patrol vehicles.

``Further, with your affinity toward Lincoln Navigators, we plan to special order one with extra legroom and a moon-roof over the driver's side that should serve nicely as your patrol vehicle.''

The police chief also offered O'Neal his choice of prime assignments, however, ``it may prove difficult to have you work undercover,'' he wrote.

Although Lopez's letter was in fun, he encouraged the basketball star to visit the city, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles, and ride along with an officer.

``In all seriousness, we would love to talk to you about your interest in a career here in Oxnard,'' he said.

While taping a cable cooking show recently, O'Neal said he would be giving up basketball at age 32 and he wanted to join law enforcement.

Now playing cop -- that's right, Shaq!

Copyright © 2001 Ventura County Star. Reprinted with permission.
July 30, 2001

JOB OFFER: We doubt that Chief Art Lopez is really serious about this idea -- is he?

One has to give Oxnard Police Chief Art Lopez a little credit: He's not afraid to take a shot at an idea that ranks right up there with his city's interest earlier this year in being the home to an Indian gambling casino.
The casino was a bad idea from the start, one that fortunately was nixed as a result of community outrage.

Now, the chief has taken it upon himself to offer a job in his department to Los Angeles Lakers superstar Shaquille O'Neal, an idea that, at the very least, is downright silly.

All of this developed because of recent comments by the basketball player, who has suggested that someday -- after his playing days are concluded -- he might have an interest in becoming a law enforcement officer.

Well, that's a slam dunk, thought Oxnard's top cop! Why not Oxnard?

In fact, the chief went so far as to offer Mr. O'Neal special "playing privileges," so to speak, including the promise of a Lincoln Navigator "police cruiser, custom-made, with a moon roof over the driver's side" -- certainly an advantage for the 7-foot-1-inch basketball player, should he want to peer out of the top of his vehicle during a chase down Vineyard Avenue.

Whether the chief plans to offer custom vehicles to other members of his force, should Mr. O'Neal take Mr. Lopez up on his offer, isn't clear. But, it's a thought the other officers might consider.

There is a positive point to Mr. O'Neal's suggestion that he might someday have a future in law enforcement. Certainly someone of his stature -- not to mention his size -- would serve as a superstar role model for youngsters who might otherwise be tempted to drift to the wrong side of the law.

But on the let's-get-serious side of this situation, we doubt Mr. Lopez's idea will go much further than another idea the Oxnard Police Department had a few years ago -- to sell advertising space on the sides of its police vehicles.

Hey, maybe that wasn't such a bad idea after all, particularly if Mr. O'Neal comes to play -- oops, make that work -- in Oxnard.

What better way to promote Mr. O'Neal's appearance on the job than an advertising banner on the side of his Lincoln Navigator?

Last updated December 24, 2001

© 2003 Oxnard Police
Art Lopez, Chief of Police

135 Posts
Well, it motivates me to see that they are not all stuck up, rich assholes! I wish Shaq the best of luck if he choses a career in our field. Another celebrity that I know of that is a Reserve Officer is Steven Segal. I know he is in California, but I can't remember which town. They had an interview in Police Magazine with him a couple of years ago. I don't think he does much patrol work, mostly he does training in the Dept.

Subscribing Member
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There are lots of celebrities in the LE field. Elvis was DEA
Clint Eastwood is a Deputy Sheriff, And Harrison Ford does search and rescue with his helicopter for a local sheriffs office. I'm sure there are more that we don't know about.

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