GULF SHORES, Alabama, U.S. (AP) – The latest group of police recruits in a coastal Alabama town faced an interview board that included law enforcement experts as well as a civilian with a recognizable voice and face. : Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman.
Freeman, a Mississippi native who owns property in Gulf Shores and spends time in the city of 12,000, was part of a seven-member group that interviewed nine prospective Gulf Shores Police Department officers last week, said the Wednesday Deputy Chief of Police Dan Netemeyer.
The department sometimes asks residents to serve on such screening committees, Netemeyer said. Freeman knows a few people who have helped and volunteered to serve.
“It was something last minute, but he was an active participant,” he noted.
Known for roles in films such as “The Shawshank Redemption” (“Dreams of freedom”), “Driving Miss Daisy” (“The driver and Mrs. Daisy”), “Unforgiven” (“The Unforgivables”) and “Million Dollar Baby” (“Blows of Fate”), Freeman sat at a table and asked questions with other interviewers that included Netemeyer, a criminal justice professor, and others.
“He was wearing a hat and he was relaxed. When it did show up, it was almost like a ‘Hidden Camera’ scene, “Netemeyer said.
Even if someone didn’t recognize Freeman by his face, there was no question once he spoke. “It was that voice, the same one you hear in movies,” he added.
The hiring process is not over, according to Netemeyer, but at least some of the recruits will likely be offered jobs.
Freeman and Linda Keena, a University of Mississippi professor who also lives in Gulf Shores and helped with the interviews, recently donated $ 1 million to establish the Center for Evidence-Based Surveillance and Reform at the university.