After portraying the iconic California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer “Ponch” Poncherello for six seasons on “ChiPs,” actor Erik Estrada has become a police officer in the real world.
The AP reports that Estrada is now a reserve officer in the small southern Idaho town of St. Anthony. He was sworn in Saturday by Neils Thueson, mayor of the town of 3,500 people.
Estrada will reportedly be working with the police department to help protect children from Internet predators. He has worked with various law enforcement agencies over the past decade to get the word out on the issue.
In comments following his induction, Estrada said: “Education is the best protection, especially on the Internet. Children should be educated in how to handle a chat room. Don’t give out personal information. Certainly don’t give out your mother’s or father’s name or what school you go to. Don’t ever accept gifts. Certainly don’t ever go meet someone you’ve been chatting with. They’re not who they are. If they send a picture, that isn’t them.”