By Trey Rusk
This morning I read a blog from BARKGROWLBITE that gave kudos to the Dalhart, Texas police department for hiring a deaf female police officer. Kudos for what?
Apparently the Chief of Police felt that this determined young lady deserved a chance at being a police officer. I applaud her for trying to fulfill her passion to become a police officer, but let's be rational about her quest.
Even though she must go through a 6 month FTO program where she will not be allowed to patrol by herself this will not prevent the following:
1. How can a deaf officer hear if her partner needs assistance when clearing a building?
2. How can a deaf person search for a lost child if they can't hear the child call out?
3. How can a deaf person work traffic?
4. How can a deaf person hear a person coming up behind them to do them harm?
The Chief of Police lauded the fact that the newly appointed deaf officer will be an asset for those who are hard of hearing or deaf. I want to know what percentage of the population of Dalhart is deaf. It seems that there are a lot of duties that the officer cannot adequately fulfill in order to do a single duty of communicating with deaf citizens.
I believe this is an effort in futility. A deaf police officer puts the citizens, her partner and herself at risk. It is dangerous and The City of Dalhart needs to step back and look at the big picture.
The following article was provided by BARKGROWLBITE. Kudos. Really?
Friday, March 30, 2018
KUDOS TO DALHART PD FOR GIVING DEAF APPLICANT A CHANCE
A police department in Texas just hired its first ever deaf female officer
by Drew Powell
March 26, 2017
DALHART, Texas -- -The newest member of the Dalhart Police Department is helping the department make history. When police chief David Conner hired 25-year old Erica Trevino, she became the first female deaf commissioned police officer hired to work at the department and is believed to be the first in the state of Texas.
“It’s a passion of mine,” said Erica Trevino, newly hired police officer at Dalhart P.D. “It’s not something I just want, it’s something God has called me to do. That’s what I believe. This truly is a career and I can’t tell you how much I look up to the people and I respect how much work the officers put into becoming a police officer.”
Trevino tells ABC 7 News she is fluent in four sign languages and can communicate in ways most officers can’t when someone is in distress or needs help.
“With officer Trevino being here that’s going to be tremendous asset for those who are hard of hearing or deaf,” said David Conner, Dalhart Police Chief. “She will be able to communicate and assist us in that realm as well.”
Day to day communications can be a challenge for deaf people. Overcoming challenges is something she has conquered since being deaf. She graduated from Caprock H.S. then went to West Texas A&M University before graduating third in her class at the police academy at Amarillo College.
“It’s not going to be easy, I know that,” said Trevino. “I’m preparing to put in the work and get to where I need to be. I want to be the best officer I can be.”
“Is it going to be a challenge for her and us? Yes, there’s no doubt,” said Conner. “Through all the obstacles she’s had to face in life and all the times she’s been told now she can’t do something she has succeeded. Who am I to say she can’t do this? There’s no doubt she can do it and she is qualified."
She reports for duty on April 14. The first six months on the job she will be partnered with a field training officer and work the night shift. Her goal is to work in Criminal Investigations Division after she climbs up the ranks at the department.