Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal to take on role in Henry County sheriff’s office

NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal will join the Henry County Sheriff's Office in an official capacity.

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NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal will join the Henry County Sheriff's Office in an official capacity.

Shaquille O’Neal is a man of many nicknames and, according to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, he will soon have another title to add to his list.

Sheriff Reginald Scandrett has tapped The Big Aristotle to serve as the agency’s director of community relations. Sheriff’s office spokesman Eric Jackson confirmed the Basketball Hall of Famer’s new role to the AJC on Thursday.

“As a part of Sheriff Scandrett’s strategic plan, bridging the gap between the community and law enforcement is paramount,” Jackson said. “Coupled with Dr. O’Neal’s philanthropy, Scandrett and Shaq have a specific plan to begin uniting the Henry County community.”

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Since retiring from the NBA in 2011, O’Neal has made multiple appearances in films, TV shows and viral videos and as an analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” The 7-foot-1 former star, who earned a doctorate degree in education from Barry University in 2012, has long said he wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement.

In January 2015, O’Neal was sworn in as a reserve officer in the Doral Police Department in Florida. He’s also served as a reserve officer in Miami Beach, Tempe, Ariz., and the Port of Los Angeles. In December 2016, he became a sworn deputy in Clayton County, making him the “tallest” in the metro Atlanta county’s history.

In a 2017 interview, he told The Washington Post that he planned to run for sheriff in Henry County in 2020. Later, on “The Doctor Oz Show,” he told Dr. Mehmet Oz that he was reconsidering that plan.

“I thought about doing it in 2020, but I think I’ll wait until 2024,” O’Neal said.

The sheriff’s office plans to share more details in a news conference at 2 p.m. today. The event will be held at A Friend’s House on Henry Parkway in McDonough, which is located across from the sheriff’s office.

ExploreShaquille O'Neal over the years