Young President’s Club member Scott Erickson is one of the hundreds of thousands of Heritage Foundation members who have devoted their lives to the principles they espouse. On top of his work as a police officer, where he walks the streets to uphold the rule of law in his community, Erickson collaborates with Heritage experts to strengthen America as a whole.
A second-generation California police officer, Erickson was born to Jerry and Carroll Ann Erickson. Growing up in his grandmother’s conservative household after his parents passed away, Erickson understood from an early age the importance of understanding both current events and history. He idolized Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and George Washington. Today, he worries that our government is retreating ever further from our republic’s founding principles.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Erickson was drawn to law enforcement. While studying for his undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminal justice, he interned for Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA)–and it was then that he first heard about The Heritage Foundation. When he returned to California, an often inhospitable environment for conservatives, he became more actively involved with Heritage so he could join the long fight to get his state and country back on course.
In 1997, Erickson began his career with the San Jose Police Department as a patrol officer, and he joined the force full time in 2002. Street patrol, Erickson explains, is “the most basic function of a law enforcement agency and puts you in the closest contact to what is happening in the community.”
Witnessing how crime tears apart communities, Erickson says, is very different from reading about it in your newspaper’s local section. His exposure to local crime led him to question its cause. He realized that broad national security issues like terrorism can have huge impacts on local communities.
This understanding led him to deepen his involvement with Heritage, he says:
The role of state and local law enforcement within the larger counterterrorism infrastructure has been of preeminent concern to me. Experience has taught us that the closer an unencumbered act of terror comes to fruition the more likely those involved in acts of terror will come within the purview of local law enforcement. This reality necessitates incorporating the larger counterterrorism issue into the prevailing policing paradigm. These concerns have led me to collaborate with The Heritage Foundation on myriad projects that touch upon a variety of homeland security issues.
A few years ago, Erickson met Heritage national security expert James Carafano in San Francisco. The two men discussed their mutual conservative views on national security, and Carafano asked Erickson to collaborate with Heritage experts on security research. His Heritage work has included an analysis of law enforcement practices and a report on the investigative failures surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Scott Erickson’s deep historical understanding of American history combined with his conservative values and his community involvement has allowed him to have a comprehensive knowledge about the benefits of a society compelled by the first principles our founding fathers set for us.