Mark Wahlberg I Want a Clean Record So I Can Handle Guns ... as a Cop

12/8/2014 12:45 AM PST

Mark Wahlberg wants to wipe his criminal record clean so he can become a reserve officer ... TMZ has learned. 

Wahlberg has filed legal docs in Boston with the Massachusetts Parole Board, asking to expunge his 1988 felony assault conviction. The actor beat two men and left one partially blind.

Mark is still a felon, and he wants to join a L.A. area police force as a reservist. The problem ... he's not eligible because felons can't handle guns and it's generally frowned upon in cop shops. 

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." 

He wouldn't be the first celeb to join a police force. Shaq was famously sworn in as reserve cop in Miami, Florida and Jack Osbourne is on the force in Muncie, Indiana.

BTW ... Mark is selling a new reality show called "Port of L.A." in which law enforcement police the containers that come into the country.