The Weston native and Local 10 News reporter shines light on breaking news and coping with her father’s death
■ Breaking news is my thing. It gives me an adrenaline rush.
■ You have to be super-confident [to be on television]. And know that it’s OK to stutter or mess up and let your emotion shine through.
■ I find myself asking more and more: Why? [News] can be so heavy, so emotional, so depressing. But it’s the little days, where the reward is that you’re actually helping somebody through sharing their story.
■ I revisited a story that I covered Labor Day of 2016. It was a triple murder in Lauderhill. Here we are, a year later, and [the family] reached back out to me because there haven’t been any arrests. I realized that I’m in a position to [shed light] in ways I never knew possible.
■ A lot of people say I’m like my dad. He loved helping people and fighting crime. I like to say that he did that with a gun and a badge, and I’m doing it with a microphone and a camera.
■ It’s weird to say that some of my best memories growing up were created at [Police Officers Assistance Trust’s annual memorial service], but it was the one place I would see other children who also grew up without a parent because they were killed in the line of duty. [Editor’s note: Erica’s father, Miami Beach officer Scott Rakow, was shot and killed in 1988; Erica was only 6 months old.]
■ This past year, [POAT] asked me to be the master of ceremonies, which was a huge honor and sort of full circle. I was actually 40 weeks pregnant—six days from my due date—and I still emceed it, because I didn’t want to miss it for a thing. … Any tragedy, any time of need [for the family of a slain officer], and they’re there with the funds, the emotional support.
The Rakow File
■ Joined the Local 10 News (WPLG) team in October 2016 as a general assignment reporter.
■ Graduated from Cypress Bay High School in Weston.
■ Studied telecommunication at the University of Florida; her first TV job was at a station in Panama City.
■ Spent seven days in Orlando covering the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016.