When fiction becomes reality. Erik Estrada, who famously played a cop on the TV show "CHIPS," is a full-fledged police officer in real life now.
Erik was sworn in as a member of the St. Anthony Police Department reserve force in Idaho over the weekend.
"At LAX FLYING TO IDAHO TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE SAINT ANTHONY POLICE DEPT.," he tweeted on July 1. "A SPECIAL DAY FOR ME."
Law enforcement has been a passion of Erik's for quite a while. This is actually the actor's second go at being a police officer. As of 2009, he was a full-time deputy sheriff in Bedford County, Virginia.
He's also been heavily involved in the Internet Crimes Against Children task force since 1998. He will kick off the St. Anthony Police Department's new ICAC task force in his new role.
"OK fnf's I'm now a police officer with the ST ANTHONY POLICE DEPT.," he tweeted along with a photo of himself in his new police uniform.
"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," the former "CHIPS" star told Idaho's KPVI.
He says education is the best prevention when it comes to a predators lurking online.
"The online sexual predator will take his time to groom a child on the Internet," he said. "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."
He told the Idaho State Journal, "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."
The small Idaho town seemed to welcome Erik with open arms.
"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," said Chief of Police Terry Harris. "I'm just flabbergasted that he was even willing to come here and do it."
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