LIFESTYLE

Erik Estrada Became A Police Officer In Real Life Decades After Playing A Cop On 'CHiPs'

Date February 5, 2019 11:48

Do you remember Erik Estrada? If you do, it’s most likely because of his role as Frank Poncherello on the hit police drama CHiPs.

Erik Estrada Became A Police Officer In Real Life Decades After Playing A Cop On 'CHiPs'Erik Estrada Became A Police Officer In Real Life Decades After Playing A Cop On 'CHiPs'© CHiPs (1977-1983) / Warner Bros. Television Distribution

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The show followed the adventures of two California Highway Patrol officers. It premiered in 1977 and completed its 6-season run in 1983, but Estrada’s adventures as a cop didn’t stop at that…

Erik Estrada Became A Police Officer In Real Life Decades After Playing A Cop On 'CHiPs'Erik Estrada Became A Police Officer In Real Life Decades After Playing A Cop On 'CHiPs'© CHiPs (1977-1983) / Warner Bros. Television Distribution

After playing a cop on TV, Estrada became a real one

Estrada wanted to become a police officer when he was a child, but he ultimately ventured into acting and made a career on TV.

However, the actor never forgot his childhood dream. He always pictured police officers as good guys. As he recalled in an interview with ABC News, his mom used to date a cop, and the man was super nice.

So, Estrada’s plan B was to join the police, in case his acting career didn’t work out. But it did, and he’s appeared in a number of films and TV shows.

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It turns out, acting didn’t get in the way of Estrada’s wish to serve and protect. In the late aughts, he became a Deputy Sheriff in Virginia.

In 2016, he was sworn in a reserve police officer in St. Anthony, Idaho, joining the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force. Speaking to Idaho State Journal, the actor-turned-cop shared advice on how children can avoid online predators:

Education is the best protection especially on the internet. Children should be educated in how to handle a chat room. Don’t give out personal information. Certainly don’t give out your mother’s or father’s name or what school you go to. Don’t ever accept gifts.

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.

What about Estrada’s personal life?

Two years after the show that made him famous finished its run, Estrada married Peggy Lynn Rowe, an entertainment executive. They had two sons, Anthony Erik (b.1986) and Brandon (b.1987). Estrada and Rowe got divorced in 1990, after five years of marriage.

In 1997, the actor married Nanette Mirkovich, a film sound technician. They welcomed a daughter, Francesca, in 2000. The girl is following in her dad’s footsteps and wants to be an actress!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Francesca Estrada (@francesca_estrada) on

But if that doesn’t work out, she can join the police.

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