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‘CHiPs’ Star Erik Estrada Donates Drug Sniffing Dog To Police Department

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I am not ashamed to admit that when I was in first grade, I had every intention of marrying Officer Frank “Ponch” Poncherello from the hit television show CHiPs. Clearly, that didn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean that I still don’t think of ‘Ponch’ fondly every now and then.

Related: Family Of K9 Police Dog Heartbroken As He’s Abruptly Reassigned

Especially when I learned that he donated a three-year-old German Shepherd/Malinois doggo named Mako to the St. Anthony Police Department in St. Anthony, Idaho. Estrada didn’t just donate a dog to any random police department, though–it was his own police station he was helping out with a new narcotics dog.

Yep, turns out Ponch is still on the job, as a reserve police officer with the small department. St. Anthony Police Chief Allen Neff said that Estrada has been a reserve officer since 2016, and has been donating money and various supplies to the agency. Chief Neff said that a narcotics dog has simply not been in the budget for the department, as they can cost up to $15,000.

It's official: '80s TV star Erik Estrada is a member of the St. Anthony Police Department. Estrada was sworn in as a…

Posted by Idaho State Journal on Saturday, July 2, 2016

Estrada has been helping fellow reserve officers to raise funds for the dog since last March, and Chief Neff says that Estrada’s donation will be a great addition to the team and department in the fight against illegal drugs.

Related: Super Sniffer Police Dog Finds Kidnapped Girl

Estrada’s donation will help the department look for narcotics and at local schools, and Chief Neff said that Mako may also be called in to help nearby agencies if the Idaho State Police Department should request him.

Estrada will not work directly with Mako; that honor will go to Sgt. Greg Belew.

That’s okay, though, as Ponch never looked for the glory anyway!


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