Meet Officer Erin Larkin
Posted on 05/19/2020
Officer Erin Larkin looks up information on the patrol computer. As a teen growing up in Westland, Erin Larkin knew that she wanted to be a police officer. To get the feel for it, she joined the Westland Police Department’s Explorer program. After learning that candidates for the police academy had to scale a 6-1/2 foot wall, she and her father constructed a tall wall in their backyard so she could practice.

Fast-forward two decades and you’ll find Erin as the newest member of the City of Northville Police Dept., having joined the department in mid-January. The opening follows the retirement of Sgt. Matthew Clemence in January. Police Chief Alan Maciag introduced her to City Council on Feb. 3, where she was warmly welcomed.

Officer Larkin brings 17 years of experience as a Washtenaw County Sheriff deputy, serving primarily in Ypsilanti Township with some coverage of the small town of Manchester in Superior Township.

“I had a lot of experience and exposure to various crimes, from parking to homicides,” she said. “We had to do everything – from the initial report all the way to court.”

That’s also the protocol at NCPD – officers handle everything related to the incident or crime – from taking notes at the scene, to interviewing witnesses, reporting their findings, and appearing in court.

Larkin was ready for a career move and wanted to go to a smaller department that was community focused. “This job has all of the things that I was interested in. I’m going to learn about a different area of policing and be able to mesh my experience. I’m looking to advance and this department offers new opportunities.”

Larkin has a degree in Criminal Justice from Madonna University. She endured 16 weeks of boot camp-style training at the Wayne County Police Academy designed to have only the toughest recruits graduate. As a woman, she was treated on par with male recruits.

The role of a police officer is never the same two days in a row. “There’s always exposure to different things,” she said. “There may be similar calls but the people are always different” – whether they are victims or criminals.

To stay sharp, she works out regularly doing weight-training and cardio exercises. To deal with the emotional toll, she spends leisure time with a large social circle of friends who are not police officers. “That’s huge,” she said.

Being an officer draws upon a range of skills. For Larkin, those are empathy, sympathy and aggression, which are invaluable in certain situations. She also relies on her problem-solving skills and ability to “read people” and relate to them.

Larkin believes being a police officer brings out the best of her personality. “I genuinely like helping people,” she said. “When they are done, I like to find that it’s been a positive interaction. I try to help or assist people in getting help by referring them to social services, victim advocacy groups, mental health assistance or government assistance for food and shelter. I direct them in the path they need to go.”

She values the feedback she receives from citizens. “They often tell you when you’ve made an impact on their lives,” she said.

In her spare time, Larkin likes to read, travel and visit the beach.