The actor, who played California Highway Patrol Officer Francis 'Ponch' Poncherello in the hit TV cop series, visits schools in the U.S. and educates teenagers about Internet safety.

He tells Closer magazine, "I've been trying to go back to my first passion as a child, becoming a cop. I go around the country to schools, educating kids about the dangers that lurk in cyberspace, as a real cop. It's a complete circle."

His new role is a dream come true for the former TV cop.

He adds, "My dad was a heroin addict, and after he left, my mother started dating a cop. I was four and he was my idol. From 14 to 18, I was going to be an NYC police officer. He gave me his gold detective shield when he retired."