Former Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal applied to be a reserve police officer for the city of Doral on Wednesday.
O’Neal stopped by Doral’s City Council chambers to say hello before sitting down with the police chief. The council was in session discussing budget proposals. The mayor called a five-minute break and council members rushed to pose with the superstar.
The 7-foot-1 O’Neal is still going through the application process as well as a background check, city spokeswoman Christina Baguer said.
“If he passes, he will then have to do everything else to be certified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, just like any of our other officers, reserve or not reserve,” Baguer said.
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The State Officer Certification Exam includes a series of physical and psychological tests. However, this is not O’Neal’s first time on a police force.
Doral Police Chief Don De Lucca — who was Miami Beach police chief until 2007 — has worked with O’Neal in the past. O’Neal was sworn in as a reserve officer in Miami Beach in 2005 but is no longer with the department.
O’Neal — known globally as Shaq — has played for the Boston Celtics, L.A. Lakers and Orlando Magic, among other teams. Most recently the athlete and actor has appeared in the movie Grown-Ups 2, along with commercials for Icy Hot and Gold Bond.
Once O’Neal left the building, the City Council continued the day-long budget workshop in which the police and fire chiefs, as well as the Cultural Affairs Advisory Board, Green Initiative Task Force and other boards, asked for monetary changes in their designated areas as this year’s budget is finalized.
The first budget hearing will take place at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 8401 NW 53rd Ter.