Daughter finds her niche as Oak Brook police officer
Support services police officer Erica Huff originally had no plans to be a police officer. | Dan Luedert—Sun-Times Media
Name: Erica Huff
Played: college volleyball
Favorite non-work activity: baking with daughter Zoe, 7; and son, Alex, 2
Strangest item found sas a TSA agent: chicken claws
Favorite TV show her kids watch: “Phineas and Ferb”
Favorite TV shows when she was kid: “Scooby-Doo” and “The Monkees”
Updated: October 7, 2012 6:06AM
OAK BROOK — Erica Huff didn’t listen to her dad.
Growing up as the daughter of a Chicago police officer, Huff became interested in following in his footsteps when she was finishing college.
“I grew up around what he did,” she said. “I wanted to do something where I could help people, and I looked at law enforcement as a way to do that. My dad told me not to; he said I wouldn’t make any money.”
Huff, 35, did go into law enforcement and has been an officer with the Oak Brook Police Department since March 31, 2008. But her path had a few interesting twists.
Huff earned a master’s degree in sports administration from Eastern Illinois University and wanted to work for the Chicago White Sox, and she was briefly employed by the ball club.
But she left the world of sports employment when the Transportation Security Administration was created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. She began working at Midway Airport in August 2002 and stayed in that job until 2008.
“I was interested in the job because it was an opportunity to work for a government agency from the ground up,” she said. “I worked on the line first and then became a supervisor.”
With a job as a police officer still in the back of her mind, Huff decided to apply for a position in Oak Brook.
“I didn’t see any potential for advancement at Midway,” she said. “I did a little research about Oak Brook and decided it was a place I thought I’d like to work.”
Huff’s hunch about Oak Brook has proven to be correct. She initially worked as a patrol officer and took an assignment in June 2010 as a support services officer, a rotating position she likely will have for another 1-2 years, said Police Chief James Kruger.
In her position, Huff spends considerable time working with schools and community groups. She had her first taste as a DARE officer during the 2011-12 school year.
“I really like to get out into the community and into the schools; you get to build a rapport with the community,” she said. “I do miss the variety of patrol because you never know from day to day what was coming, but I’ve been very happy in both jobs here. I truly love coming to work everyday.”