‘CHiPs’ Actor Erik Estrada Now a Reserve Police Officer in Idaho

And, yes, he’ll patrol with a Harley-Davidson.

bySean Evans|
People photo

He played motorcycle cop Frank Poncherello for six seasons on “CHiPs,” but Erik Estrada always had designs on becoming a bona fide police officer. Estrada is realizing his dream for a second time after being sworn in as a reserve cop in the small town of St. Anthony, Idaho, this week.

Estrada reached out to Police Chief Terry Harris six weeks ago, expressing interest in joining the department which serves the town's 3,500 residents. The actor has spent the past decade working with various law enforcement agencies in an effort to keep kids safe online, and now wants to continue his work in Idaho. Harris initially thought the communication from Estrada was a joke, though once confirmed, the town board swiftly approved a measure to enstate Estrada. He posed with his new set of wheels, a police-package Harley-Davidson, for Twitter.

His yearning for a badge is nothing new. Growing up, Estrada’s mother was close friends with a police officer and that close bond saw him wanting to enter public service, yet the acting bug bit harder and he ventured to Hollywood. He quickly landed the role of a California Highway Patrol officer in the now iconic TV series and, despite not having a motorcycle license, learned to ride a bike and performed many of his own stunts during filming. Following the end of the program, Estrada became a reserve officer in Muncie, Indiana, where he worked nights to skirt unwanted attention.