Erik Estrada made a living playing a police officer on TV.
Now, he's making sure police officers in eastern Idaho have the resources they need. This time, it happened to come in the form of a K9.
Estrada, who played Officer Frank "Ponch" Poncherello in the TV show "CHiPS," recently helped the St. Anthony's Police Department raise enough money to purchase a police dog, according to the Rexburg StandardJournal.
The dog, a 3-year-old German Shepherd/Malinois mix named Mako, is the only police K9 at the St. Anthony's department. Mako will specialize in narcotics searches.
Estrada, 69, has served as a reserve officer for St. Anthony's since July 2016. He and fellow reserve officers began fundraising for a police dog last March after learning the department could not afford one. Mako will also work with the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, Idaho State Police, and the Rexburg and Ashton Police Departments, St. Anthony's Police Chief Allen Neff told the Standard Journal.
Police dogs can cost up to $15,000, Neff said.
“Police K9 Mako will be a welcome addition to our team and to the department," Neff said. " I am confident that this will translate to a great working relationship for our community and help us better fight the ever present war on illegal drugs."
Mako will be handled by Sgt. Greg Belew in local schools and when search warrants are served, and will assist the other law enforcement agencies when requested, Neff said.