But his goal never quite became a reality until he found his way onto Scot Squad.
Although not quite the ‘real polis’, the TV series which offers a satirical spin of life within a Scottish fictional police force has enabled Grado to make his childhood dreams come true.
“Every time I go to Scot Squad I get into that mood thinking, ‘right I’m a polis,’ – and it feels brilliant because I always wanted to do it as a wee boy,” said the actor who plays traffic cop PC Hugh McKirdy alongside PC Surjit Singh (Manjot Sumal) in the hit BBC show.
He explained: “I went for the cadets at Strathclyde Police when I was 15 or 16, I never got into that.
“So I did a job for the community warden in Ardrossan. We walked about in a red t-shirt, hat, and a whistle handing out fines for folk not lifting up their dog s***e, no cutting their grass.
“We were the most hated folk in Ardrossan, we were called the red mafia.
“It was full of ex-policeman coming up to retirement and I was the youngest one so I would walk about with a guy who was 30 years in the polis.
“He would tell me stories and the way they went on and wee sayings and stuff like that.”
He added: “The second time I applied for the polis I lost hunners of weight, I got right in about it.
“I was going into the polis stations and I was asking them.
“I made an a**e of the second interview and I never got to be a police officer.
“Even though they told me you are going to sail this no bother and your uniform fitting will be the day after your second interview.
“That was my big thing I couldn’t wait to put on the black shirt and body armour. I never got to fulfil that fantasy until I got to Scot Squad.”
The actor – whose real name is Graeme Stevely – even swotted up about life in the thin blue line by watching reality TV making him the perfect candidate for Scot Squad.
The 32-year-old beamed: “I remember getting Sky in my room for the first time and all that was recorded was Road Wars, Street Crime UK – everything to do with polis I was totally obsessed with.”
Now his obsession is work as Scot Squad returns to BBC Scotland tonight for a new five-part series and the moment is one Grado has been looking forward to.
“I love everything about Scot Squad,” he said with a smile.
He added: “It has been the same camera operator, director, actors and make-up artist every year.
“Every year, it feels like going away to summer camp because you are getting to see all your pals, the folk you work with.
“It’s a cracking atmosphere, the director is brand new, knows what everyone is about. It’s a real good feeling on the set.”
Despite a difficult 2020 for everyone, Grado made the most of new opportunities as he ventured into the world of breakfast radio for the first time.
And although, he misses wrestling – which was the sport that first propelled him into the spotlight – he has clearly taken to his new role.
He said: “I am doing Go Radio at the moment.
“That is a new thing and it has been all right for me.
“That came just at the start of lockdown. Getting up at 430 in the morning and talking on the radio for a couple of hours, that has been good.”
Now with many strings to his bow, it is however clear that Grado is still as passionate as ever about Scot Squad – and he hopes that the project will continue for many years to come.
He said: “I would love for Scot Squad to keep happening every year.
“I want it to be on Netflix and all that. I want it to keep going.
“You get other jobs but nothing is quite the same as Scot Squad.
“It is so different, it is original and a different kind of experience.
“Every time we get told there is another series getting commissioned, it is like yes we have got another one.
“I don’t want it to come to an end.”
Watch Scot Squad tonight at 10 pm on BBC Scotland.