Mark Puente of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (via blog):

sherrif shaq

Predators lurking for local children on the Internet could soon be talking to a 7-foot-1 undercover deputy.

The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy is reviewing paperwork to determine whether Cavaliers center Shaquille O’Neal is eligible to carry a gun and a sheriff’s five-point badge.

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Bob Reid last week notified the state agency, which determines officers’ eligibility, that he intends to deputize O’Neal if approved by the state, according to records obtained by The Plain Dealer. O’Neal held law-enforcement commissions in Arizona, Virginia and Florida. Reid declined to comment until the process is complete.

If O’Neal is approved, he would need to complete 36 hours of police training within six months and take the Ohio police examination to maintain the appointment, said Holly Hollingsworth, spokeswoman for the Attorney General. He would also have to pass a test on a shooting range.

This is one of the few things Shaq appears to take pretty seriously. He’s pursued it for a long time. But I still doubt he does it full-time after his NBA basketball career wraps up in a few years. Helping the law will probably be a side-hobby for the big fella.