O'Neal to continue police work, signs up with Tempe Police Department

Updated: March 25, 2008, 8:31 PM ET
Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Shaq wants to give the Tempe Police Department a big assist.

Shaquille O'Neal, acquired by the Phoenix Suns in a trade in February, visited the police station March 20 and filled out an application to be a volunteer, department spokeswoman Sgt. Cindy Davies said Tuesday.

Davies added that she didn't know if the Suns center planned to start volunteering during the basketball season or why he chose Tempe.

"I imagine he's probably busy," Davies said. "But if his schedule allows it, we're not going to turn him away and say 'Oh no, it's basketball season, you need to go to the games.'"

Police department volunteers assist in a range of activities, from handing out flyers to acting as an interpreter.

O'Neal, acquired from the Miami Heat on Feb. 6, would be given a volunteer assignment based on how the skills he could provide fit with the department's current needs, Davies said.

O'Neal previously served as a reserve officer with the Miami Beach Police Department while playing for the Heat.

"Certainly we're very grateful he's going to be volunteering and giving back to the community," Davies said. "It's fantastic for such a leader like him."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press