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Home  >  Topics  >  Bizarre Beat

December 07, 2006
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Armed and famous: D list celebs join small town force

Muncie, Ind.-- Erik Estrada and other lesser celebrities have been sworn in as reserve officers of the city police department here, allowing them to carry badges and guns as part of a reality television series.

About 200 people packed into a Muncie City Hall auditorium for the Tuesday ceremony to swear in the former "CHiPs" star, along with La Toya Jackson, Jack Osbourne, Wee Man and Trish Stratus.

A producer coaxed the crowd into cheering loudly for the camera, and parts of the ceremony had to be repeated several times for the TV cameras.

"Roll call is at 6 o'clock," Muncie Police Chief Joe Winkle told the celebrities. "Do not be late."

Winkle had to say the line three times. The first take was interrupted by audience applause, the second was too quiet.

"Welcome to TV," said Julie Link of Forman Productions. "Sometimes, we have to retake."

The CBS show, "Armed and Famous," being filmed in this east-central Indiana city, population 66,000, follows the celebrities as they enforce the laws alongside city police officers.

Estrada joked with the crowd that people may not recognize him as an officer because he would not be wearing his toupee. He pulled up the back inch of his hairpiece and wiggled it, drawing laughter from the crowd.

Estrada carried a gun but rarely used it to stop bad guys in his 1970s motorcycle-cops drama.

He also appeared in VH1's "Surreal Life" in 2004. Osbourne, 21, son of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, was on the MTV's "The Osbournes." Wee Man, 33, a 4-foot-7 skateboarder, gained fame on the MTV show "Jackass."

Jackson, 50, a singer and sister of Michael and Janet Jackson, is a native of Gary, and Stratus is a former WWE professional wrestler.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press

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