Gulf Shores, AL – Legendary actor Morgan Freeman sat on a panel that interviewed applicants to the Gulf Shores Police Department last week.
Gulf Shores Police Deputy Chief Dan Netemeyer confirmed that the 84-year-old Freeman had been one of seven members on the interview panel who interviewed nine potential officers, the Associated Press reported.
Deputy Chief Netemeyer said that Gulf Shores has had residents participate in screening committees in the past.
Other members of the panel included, among others, the deputy chief, the police chief, and Linda Keena, a criminal justice professor who lives in Gulf Shores, the Associated Press reported.
“It was kind of a last minute thing, but he was an active participant,” the deputy chief said.
Freeman owns property in Gulf Shores and spends significant time in the 12,000-resident community, the Associated Press reported.
Deputy Chief Netemeyer said the Hollywood actor’s presence on the interview panel got the attention of the applicants.
He said that Freeman actively participated in the interviews and asked questions of the potential officer candidates, the Associated Press reported.
“He had a hat on, and he was kind of sitting back. When he introduced himself it was almost like an old ‘Candid Camera’ scene,” Deputy Chief Netemeyer recalled.
He said there were a few applicants that didn’t recognize the legendary actor until he opened his mouth.
“It was that voice, the same one you hear in the movies,” the deputy chief said.
Deputy Chief Netemeyer said the police department has not yet finished its hiring process but said that it was likely at least some of the nine applicants would be offered jobs, the Associated Press reported.
Freeman and Keena, a University of Mississippi professor, recently gave $1 million to create the Center of Evidence-Based Policing and Reform at Ole Miss.
The Oscar-winning actor has previously said that he does not support defunding the police, FOX News reported.
“I’m not in the least bit for defunding the police,” Freeman told Black Enterprise in an interview. “Police work is, aside from all the negativity around it, it is very necessary for us to have them and most of them are guys that are doing their job. They’re going about their day-to-day jobs. I know some policemen who would never even pull their guns, except, you know, on the range.”