For more than two decades, Officer Erica Huston has been a member of the Burnsville Police Department. In that time, she has held numerous positions in the department including Patrol Officer, Investigator, Field Training Officer, Use of Force Instructor, Honor Guard and Peer Team Member. Huston’s dedication and outstanding performance have earned her the honor of being named Burnsville’s 2022 Officer of the Year.
The Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) was created in 2021 to have a more intentional response to those in the Burnsville community suffering with mental illness and mental health issues, and Officer Huston jumped at the opportunity to be a part of that team. Huston and her sergeant respond to in-progress crisis calls, as well as conduct aftercare follow-up with people in need. “Officer Huston continues to be dedicated to making things better for those in crisis,” said one of Huston’s fellow officers. “Her ability to work with people and get them the care they need and keep them safe is commendable.”
The BHU team has increased safe interactions between police and those suffering from mental health crisis/illness; helped ease access to social services; and increased officer awareness and education about mental health issues. In 2022, the BHU responded to more than 240 crisis calls and conducted more than 760 aftercare visits.
“Officer Huston works tirelessly to ensure people get the help they need,” said Burnsville Police Chief Tanya Schwartz. “She has an amazing ability to help people move from places and mindsets of despair to places of renewed hope by creating caring connections in our community.”
Huston is also part of the Burnsville Police Department’s Peer Support Team. While working her BHU cases and calls for service, Huston also finds the time to provide peer support to her partners, City staff and metro area first responders.
Huston’s everyday actions represent the department’s core values: Honor, Courage, Excellence, Knowledge and Integrity and the Burnsville Police Department is proud to announce Officer Huston as 2022 Police Officer of the Year