Either Shaquille O'Neal has forgotten how to use a computer, or he's grown humble with age.
On his July application to become a part-time cop for the Golden Beach Police Department, the former NBA star simply scrawled "none" across the three lines for answering the question about what special equipment or machinery he could operate. When he filled out the same paperwork to join the Miami Beach PD in 2002, he was much more confident. Asked what he'd bring to the table, Shaq coolly boasted he was a "master of surveillance," citing his ability to operate a "laptop computer" and "binnochulars" [sic].
Come on, Shaq. What happened to the braggadocio that powered your 1993 album, Shaq Diesel? Why not just channel the raw energy of your single "I'm Outstanding" as a way of saying "Let Me In, Let Me In" to the Golden Beach Police? You've said it before in song, so man up and sing it proud again, this time on your application: "I Know I've Got Skillz."
Sure, it doesn't take much confidence (or skillz) to police Golden Beach. The town's population was only 919 in 2010, and it boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the state. The most recent copy of Golden Beach News, a magazine available at the town clerk's office, looked promising with its cover: two photos of cops wearing wraparound shades while posing menacingly on their choppers. Sadly, the issue turned out to be a collated set of listicles about the health benefits of wild salmon and the importance of hurricane preparedness. (This just in: It rains in Florida. News at 11.)
If the so-called news there is any indication, the cushiest job in all of Miami-Dade law enforcement probably belongs to Chief Don DeLucca, who worked with Shaq in Miami Beach before bringing him on to patrol the sleepy segment of A1A in Golden Beach. During his tenure as Miami Beach's top cop, DeLucca reportedly courted favor with notorious Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro by helping him book hotel rooms at a discounted rate, among other generous gestures. Eventually he took a break from police work to offer security gigs to celebrities and athletes through Verasys Consulting. When DeLucca returned to police work, Shaq was there to take him out for a celebratory lunch.
If DeLucca has a questionable record as chief, Golden Beach might want to take a second look at its newest cop's past. In 2011, New Times investigated whether Shaq might have used law enforcement connections to try to frame a former employee for possession of child porn.
Shaq also left a few pieces of info off his latest application. He said he'd never been part of a police investigation, but in 1998 a woman named Kim Grant accused O'Neal of choking her at Disney World, and the Orange County Sheriff's Office investigated. Also on the application, Shaq amazingly claimed to own no cars or assets, despite making $7 million alone for playing a genie in a terrible film.
But the most interesting find in his manila folder is a transcript from the University of Phoenix -- intriguing only because we didn't know the online school provided actual transcripts.
Perhaps the tables have turned and Shaq's mastery of surveillance has become paranoia after New Times had a little fun with his previous file.
Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti