Mark Wahlberg wants to fight crime.
On Monday, TMZ reported that the 43-year-old Boogie Nights star and former rapper is seeking to expunge his criminal record so that he can be eligible to join a Los Angeles area police force as a reserve officer. (You can read more about the civilian-volunteer position here.) Wahlberg filed his petition for a pardon to the governor of Massachusetts on November 26.
“We're told Mark has become interested in police work as a result of researching roles for movies, including The Other Guys, Max Payne, and The Departed,” TMZ reports.
Wahlberg has alluded to this desire before. “Given my prior record, Massachusetts and California law prohibit me from actually obtaining positions in law enforcement,” he said. Wahlberg also wants to expand his fast-food chain Wahlburgers, but he’s running into licensing problems due to his criminal past.
And his crimes aren’t anything to shrug off. As a teenager, Wahlberg pleaded guilty to assault (he was initially charged with attempted murder) after he attacked two Vietnamese-American men in April 1988. He partially blinded one of them, and shouted racist garbage about “slant-eyed gooks.” (Click here to read about Wahlberg’s other offenses.)
In the years since, the Oscar-nominated actor has obviously cleaned up his act; though some would argue that this doesn’t necessarily earn him the pardon he is seeking from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
It remains a mystery which L.A. area police department Wahlberg may join. But he has previously worked with the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation, which provides assistance to the families of Los Angeles police officers killed in the line of duty. In 2006, Wahlberg participated in the Los Angeles Police-Celebrity Golf Tournament, an annual fundraiser.
When asked about Wahlberg and the TMZ story, a spokeswoman for the LAPD simply said, “we have no comment on that.” However, the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation seems to be behind the idea of making their famous supporter a volunteer cop.
“Mark was one of our celebrity hosts [and] he was a great host, and if he wants to join as a reserve officer, then, more power to him,” Alan Atkins, executive director of the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation, told The Daily Beast. “We can always use people who are community-minded [like him].” When asked to comment on Wahlberg’s criminal record, Atkins said he had “no insight” into that.
There are different functions of reserve officers. Some ride in the patrol car, while others who aren’t certified to do so work in the station. Along with Wahlberg’s cop movie roles and his general tough-guy demeanor, he has spoken about his supposed ability to thwart criminals before. In a 2012 interview with Men’s Journal, he claimed that he could have stopped the terrorists on 9/11.
“If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn’t have went down like it did,” he contended. “There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, ‘Okay, we’re going to land somewhere safely, don't worry.’”
He later apologized to the families of 9/11 victims for obvious reasons.
Anyway, read Wahlberg’s pardon petition below: