10 more celebrities who have donned the badge and uniform
A career in law enforcement is a calling and one that often cannot be ignored – even by some of America’s celebrities
By Police1 Staff
Breaking into Hollywood is not for the faint of heart, but becoming a police officer is no walk in the park either. And while a career in policing may have not always have been at the top of the list for these 10 celebrities, serving and protecting their communities did become an important and integral part of who they are today.
If this roundup teaches us anything, it’s that a career in law enforcement is a calling and one that often cannot be ignored – even by some of America’s celebrities. Are there any celebrities we missed? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Jack Osbourne
Everyone knows rock legend Ozzy Osbourne – otherwise known as the Prince of Darkness and Godfather of Heavy Metal. But did you know that his son, Jack, went through reserve officer training in Muncie, Indiana? His move into law enforcement began as part of a reality TV show, but he was actually sworn in as a Muncie Police Department reserve officer in 2006. He has served with the department ever since.
“Quite frankly, I think Jack Osbourne is gifted at this,” then-Muncie Police Chief Joe Winkle told the New York Post in 2007 after the reality TV show “Armed & Famous” aired. “He’s worked extremely well with people. He’s pretty strong verbally. And he’s a young man in pretty good condition.”
In the clip below, Jack gives his rock ‘n’ roll dad a taste of what it’s like to be a police officer.
2. La Toya Jackson
Jack Osborne wasn’t the only celebrity to join the law enforcement world via a reality TV show. One of his fellow Muncie Police Department cadets was none other than La Toya Jackson – a Gary, Indiana, native, and the fifth and middle child of the Jackson family.
Throughout the show, which only ran for one season, Jackson, Osbourne, Erik Estrada, Trish Stratus, a Canadian professional wrestler, and Jason Acuña (otherwise known as “Wee Man” on “Jackass”) can be seen going through training, followed by graduation. Today, Jackson, who was also sworn in as a Muncie Police reserve officer, continues to serve by volunteering as a deputy.
If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can watch the first full episode of “Armed & Famous” below.
3. Dean Cain
Move over, Superman. There’s a new hero in town. And this one doesn’t wear a cape.
Dean Cain, who played Superman on the TV series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” in the mid-90s, traded in his Superman cape for a police uniform in 2018. He was sworn into the St. Anthony (Idaho) Police Department as a reserve officer. Cain took an interest in an initiative that Estrada actually launched, “All About Kids,” which focuses on preventing teen suicide, bullying and internet crimes. The initiative, Cain said, also protects children from online predators.
In the clip below, Cain surprises 3-year-old Clark, a toddler who’s been battling a variety of health conditions since he was born, with signed memorabilia. “He’s the real Superman. I just pretend,” Cain said.
4. Ronnie Coleman
Who would’ve thought that Ronnie Coleman, eight-time Mr. Olympia, would become a police officer in Arlington, Texas? But before he became one of the world’s greatest bodybuilders, he attended Grambling State University and majored in accounting. And because he couldn’t find an accounting job, he decided to become a police officer instead.
He served with the Arlington Police Department from 1989-2000. After that, he was a reserve officer until 2003. A fellow officer took Coleman to Metroflex Gym, where owner Brian Dobson tried to convince Coleman to take up bodybuilding. And the rest, as they say, is history.
In the clip below, Coleman talks about why he enjoyed working as a police officer.
5. Ken Osmond
Actor Ken Osmond, who played the role of Eddie Haskell on the 60s sitcom TV show “Leave It to Beaver,” joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1970 as a motorcycle officer. Some may wonder why the famous actor traded memorizing scripts for conducting traffic stops. After playing the role of Eddie for so long, Osmond said he became typecast and had a difficult time finding acting work that didn’t closely resemble his beloved “Leave It to Beaver” character. So, he instead decided to become an LAPD officer.
Ten years after joining the department, Osmond was struck by five bullets while on a foot pursuit with a suspected car thief. Thankfully, four of the bullets struck his ballistic vest and the fifth ricocheted off his belt buckle. He retired from the LAPD in 1988. In an interview below, Osmond talks about his on-duty shooting as well as his decision to join the LAPD.
6. Bobby Sherman
In the early 70s, Bobby Sherman was a teen idol and heartthrob. In fact, young women would scream so loud when they saw the singer-turned-actor in public that it caused Bobby to have hearing loss.
In 1974, he made a guest appearance on an episode of “Emergency!” And it must have made an impact on him, because he joined the Los Angeles Police Department as an EMT shortly after. For a decade, he trained paramedics in CPR and first aid at the academy. He also served as a reserve police officer with the LAPD and rose to the rank of captain. And if that wasn’t enough, he also served as a reserve deputy sheriff with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department from 1999 to 2010.
“There’s not a better feeling in the world than when you’re responsible for saving someone’s life,” Sherman told Entertainment Weekly in 1993. “It’s real life. You can’t say, ‘Take two.’ It’s now.”
7. Chuck Norris
In the eyes of a ranger …
Well, if we’re being factually correct, Chuck Norris joined the U.S. Air Force as an Air Policeman in 1958. He was sent to an air base in South Korea, where he earned the nickname “Chuck” and became interested in martial arts. After being discharged from the Air Force in 1962, he applied to become a Torrance, California, police officer. While he was waiting, he decided to open a martial arts studio. You see where we’re going with this, right?
Nonetheless, he never forgot about his passion for law enforcement. In 1997, he served as a reserve officer with the Terrell (Texas) Police Department, where he helped stop drug crimes. That same year, Norris and his fellow officers conducted a raid of three cocaine distribution rings and arrested a total of 67 suspects. “At least one of the suspects appeared confused as Norris read him his rights. He asked, ‘Is this a movie?’” then-Police Chief Geoffrey Whitt told The Deseret News.
8. Steven Seagal
Before he became an actor, Seagal was a martial arts instructor in Japan. He later moved to Los Angeles and made his acting debut in 1988. In 2009, he came out with a reality TV show called “Steven Seagal: Lawman.” It followed him around as a reserve deputy chief in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, as well as a reserve deputy in Maricopa County, Arizona.
“I’ve been working as an officer in Jefferson Parish for two decades under most people’s radar,” Seagal said in the series’ premiere episode.
In 2011, he was also sworn in as a deputy sheriff in Hudspeth County, Texas, a department responsible for patrolling the Texas-Mexico border. In the “Steven Seagal: Lawman” clip below, Seagal helps make a drug bust.
9. Dawn Staley
Some may say head coach Dawn Staley is plenty busy winning women’s basketball games at the University of South Carolina, but she’s never too busy to offer her time and support to today’s youth … whether that’s on or off the basketball court.
In 2015, Staley, who regularly volunteers for the youth programs at the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in South Carolina, was made an RCSD special deputy. She was sworn in by Sheriff Leon Lott after, well, basketball practice. Over the years, Staley and Lott have formed a special bond, where Lott regularly speaks to Staley’s basketball team and Staley participates in various RCSD functions – including ridealongs with deputies.
10. J.W. Cortes
Actor J.W. Cortes is best known for his role on Fox’s “Gotham” TV show as Detective Carlos Alvarez. But before he became an actor, Cortes served in the U.S. Marine Corps for nearly 13 years. He attained the rank of Gunnery Sergeant, serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. While starring on “Gotham,” Cortes worked as a police officer with the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority. In the video below, Cortes shares his story about his journey from the Marines to Hollywood.