Ponch on patrol! 'CHiPS' star Erik Estrada becomes real-life pol - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ponch on patrol! 'CHiPS' star Erik Estrada becomes real-life police officer

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Erik Estrada Erik Estrada

By Scott Stump, TODAY

(NBC News) - Erik Estrada doesn't patrol California highways in tight shorts and feathered hair as a police officer on television any more, but that doesn't mean he is no longer a cop.

The actor from "CHiPs" fame was sworn in as a reserve police officer in tiny St. Anthony, Idaho, on July 2, with a focus on protecting children from online predators.

Estrada became a pop culture icon during the "CHiPs" heyday from 1977 to 1983, and now works as a spokesperson for the Safe Surfin' Foundation. The organization looks to educate parents, teachers, clergy, and children about internet safety while working to track down online predators.

"Education is the best protection, especially on the internet,'' Estrada told the Idaho State Journal after the ceremony. "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."

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