Basketball star Shaquille O’Neal has another career on the side: undercover officer. He’s assisting a Department of Justice task force that tracks down sexual predators who target children on the Internet.
The famous NBA center, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers, began assisting the Miami Beach Police Department when he moved to Florida to join the Miami Heat. He is on track to becoming a reserve officer with the department. Working via the Internet, O’Neal can remain anonymous as he helps the DOJ task force, something the 7-foot-1, 325-pound man would have a difficult time doing on the street.
Chief Don De Lucca of the Miami Beach PD says O’Neal is dedicated to working with the agency and even spends many off hours at home logged onto the police network so he can catch up on techniques.
“I put a lot into it,” O’Neal says. “And when I am done playing, I plan on going undercover and then being the sheriff or chief of police somewhere, either Miami or Orlando, I don’t know yet. And I want to do it the right way, like everybody else, not just a famous figurehead that gets a job because he is a famous basketball player. I want to really learn the business.”