At a time when movements such as “Black Lives Matter” have resulted in a spike in shootings of police officers, former “CHiPs” star Erik Estrada has taken the ultimate plunge — from TV law enforcement officer to one in real life.
After spending years patrolling the highways of Southern California as a motorcycle cop on the popular TV series, Estrada was sworn in a week ago Saturday as a reserve officer for St. Anthony, Idaho Police Department’s new Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
The former actor told local NBC affiliate KPVI-6 News why he chose St. Anthony.
“It’s a small community and they have a need for what we want to do and they will allow us to do it and with their help we can do it,” Estrada told the station.
When he was sworn in Saturday at St. Anthony City Hall, the 67-year-old Estrada, who said he had wanted to be a law enforcement officer all his life, was asked if he’d passed the physical.
“Course I did. I woke up this morning, brushed my teeth, combed my hair, blew it out, look I’m ready. I’m ready to go,” Estrada said.
Then he got to his real mission — going after sexual predators who target children.
“The online sexual predator will take his time to groom a child on the Internet,” Estrada explained. “They will send them gifts, they will befriend them, they will be there for them and before you know it, the child has disclosed every bit of information of themselves. Now they know where they live.”
St. Anthony Police Chief Terry Harris pushed for Estrada’s inclusion on the department as a reservist.
“As a community it is really hard to imagine, I mean come into a small community in Idaho and have somebody of his stature and notoriety here is, I’m just flabbergasted that he was even willing to come here and do it,” Harris said.
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Clip via KPVI-6 News.
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