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Shaquille O’Neal on His Journey to Becoming a Police Officer: “If You Give Me a Badge and I Go Out on the Street, the Officers Are Not Gonna Respect Me”

Published 01/19/2022, 2:30 PM EST

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Shaquille O’Neal is undoubtedly one of the greatest to ever play in the NBA. His physicality in the game made him a force to reckon with. Apart from a glittering career in the NBA, his business ventures and media presence have made him one of the most recognizable men on the planet.

Shaq is a man of many talents. Apart from basketball, he is also a very successful businessperson, DJ, and also a police officer. He is a designated sheriff and a reserve police officer with agencies in Miami.

via Imago

Talking in a recent interview, Shaquille O’Neal talked about his career with the police forces and what it means to him.


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Shaquille O’Neal on joining the police force

When asked about why Shaq decided to join the law enforcement forces, he said, “This was on my list as a youngster. I said one day, I wanna be a cop. I think I can lead a force.”

According to Shaquille O’Neal, a lot of people give him badges just for him being Shaq. He says, “Like a lot of people would give me badges. You know what, if you give me a badge when I go out on the street, the officers are not going to respect me.”


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Shaq makes it clear that he doesn’t want to be a cop just for the sake of it. O’Neal being his usual self wants to attain the badge of a police officer the old-fashioned way.

Shaq’s career as a cop

Shaquille O’Neal has always had a fascination for a career as a cop. In fact, during a private ceremony in 2005, he was sworn in as a reserve officer with Miami Beach. According to reports, his career with Miami Beach would earn him a salary of just $1 yearly!

via Imago

Although Shaq might be one of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA, he was asked to go through tests to become a cop.

According to Bleacher Report, a city spokesperson 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 no reserve.

In 2019, he finally became an auxiliary sheriff with Broward Sheriff’s Office.


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What is your favorite memory of Shaquille O’Neal? Let us know in the comments below.



Abhinava Ghosh

1557 articles

Abhinava is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication. Abhinava has been following NBA for the past 6 years and is a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry.