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CHiPs star Erik Estrada becomes police officer in Idaho

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Lisa Dayley-Smith/Rexburg Standard Journal via AP)

Erik Estrada is following in his on-screen persona’s footsteps. The actor, who played fictional Officer Frank “Ponch” Poncherello on the hit series CHiPs from 1977 to 1983, was sworn in as a real-life reserve officer in St. Anthony, Idaho.

Estrada, 67, announced the news on Twitter Saturday, posting photos of the ceremony and sharing his excitement to serve on the St. Anthony Police Department’s new Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

“We’re talking a long-term partnership,” police chief Terry Harris told Idaho’s Standard Journal. “I expect it will run for the next two or three years. He’s a great guy. He’s going to be a great part of the team.”

Estrada has previously served as a deputy sheriff in Virginia and a reserve police officer in Muncie, Indiana (the latter as part of the short-lived reality show Armed and Famous).