Will Estes has been sitting down at the Reagan family table for since 2010 as Sgt. Jamie Reagan, the Harvard-educated youngest son of New York City Police Commissioner Frank Reagan () on . Jamie was only promoted to sergeant in season 9, and for most of the CBS cop procedural's run he was a rank-and-file officer at the 12th Precinct, the NYPD's only beat cop with a Harvard Law degree.
Convincingly playing a New York City cop required a lot of preparation on Estes' part, especially back when the show was new and he had never played a cop before. In a 2010 interview with , Estes said he received "a huge packet on the NYPD" from the show's technical advisor, Jim Nuciforo, before he began playing Jamie Reagan in order to study up on everything he needed to know about life as one of New York's Finest.
Nuciforo is a former NYPD officer who was on the force for almost 24 years, according to an interview with . As ' technical consultant (and occasional actor), he is responsible for making sure all the law enforcement stuff feels as real as possible. Details like the detectives leaving their jackets unbuttoned — because if you have to unbutton your jacket before you reach for your gun, you're dead — come from him.
And according to , he's taken every cast member except Tom Selleck to a shooting range to train them on how to properly handle a gun. He makes sure they get the same firearms training he got at the police academy in 1982. Selleck didn't go because he's and already knew his away around a handgun, but presumably Will Estes made the trip at some point.
Estes also told liveabout.com that his prior experience playing a Marine prepared him for portraying a cop on . "That action kind of transfers over," he said. Before , Estes' most prominent role was on the ABC drama as JJ Pryor, a Marine who fought in Vietnam.
"I know the police force likes the Marines," he added. "You have to have 60 college credits in order to join the New York police force or have been in the military." Estes is correct in this assertion, according to . Qualifying military service is one of the main reasons why so many police officers are also veterans.
Estes told liveabout.com that he hoped to do a ride-along and hang out at a precinct house to get to know some real cops. We can't confirm if he ever did a ride-along, but Vanessa Ray, who plays Jamie's NYPD partner-turned-wife Eddie Janko-Reagan, told in 2014 that she and Marisa Ramirez, who plays Detective Maria Baez, did a ride-along, so maybe Estes did a tag-along.
is currently in its on CBS, and airs Friday nights at 10/9c. Prior seasons are available to stream on Hulu and CBS All Access.