JONESBORO —There’s a new sheriff’s deputy in town, and he’s over 7 feet tall.

Shaquille O’Neal was sworn in by Sheriff Victor Hill this weekend as an honorary Clayton County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Hill said the former professional basketball player is the tallest deputy in the history of the office.

“Welcome to the crime fighting family, Shaq!” Hill posted to his Facebook page on Saturday.

O’Neal has been a part-time Atlantan the past 15 years, splitting time between Orlando and his Metro properties, a Buckhead condo and a 6-acre farm in Gwinnett. In May, O’Neal purchased a home in McDonough with a reported $1.5 million price tag.

O’Neal is also the proprietor of one of Atlanta’s much-loved sweet eateries, the Krispy Kreme franchise location on Ponce de Leon Avenue. O’Neal became a franchise owner in October. The Ponce de Leon shop has been serving up their famous original glazed doughnuts since 1965.

The Clayton designation is one of several the NBA Hall-of-Famer holds from sheriff’s offices around the country. O’Neal is also an honorary U.S. Deputy Marshal and is a reserve police officer with departments in California, Arizona and Florida.

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Staff writer

Crime and courts reporter Chelsea Prince joined the Henry Herald and Clayton News Daily in 2016. She is a graduate of Emory University.

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