Dalhart, TX – A police department in Texas announced that it has hired its first female deaf commissioned police officer.
“Say hello to your newest officer,” the Dalhart Police Department (DPD) posted to Facebook on Monday. “Officer Erica Trevino, welcome to the family!!!”
Officer Trevino, 25, is believed to be one of just two deaf female commissioned officers in the nation, DPD Chief David Conner told KVII.
Although day-to-day communications can be a struggle for individuals with hearing impairments, Officer Trevino has repeatedly overcome perceived barriers to her success, the chief said.
She graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, and went on to finish third in her police academy class at Amarillo College, KVII reported.
Officer Trevino is also fluent in four sign languages.
“With officer Trevino being here that’s going to be tremendous asset for those who are hard of hearing or deaf,” Chief Conner said. “She will be able to communicate and assist us in that realm as well.”
“It’s not going to be easy, I know that,” she told KVII. “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.”
“It’s a passion of mine,” Officer Trevino added. “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.”
Although she has received an outpouring of support on social media, some people have questioned how her inability to hear will impact her performance on the street.
“A lot of people are asking HOW?” Officer Trevino wrote in a Tuesday Facebook post, as news of her hiring went viral. “As all of you may know I am profoundly deaf without my cochlear implant on but I do wear a cochlear implant and paid for my own test to prove that I can hear with it on.”
She explained that “every officer” at the DPD “had a say” in whether or not she should be hired.
“I went through the process just like every applicant,” Officer Trevino said. “I’ve never asked or looked for an easy way through things. I’ve worked extremely hard all my life and that’s not about to stop.”
The newly hired officer said that she has “complete faith” in the department that will be training her.
“I hope to make my department proud!” she said.
Beginning Apr. 14, Officer Trevino will spend six months working night shifts with a field training officer, KVII reported.
She said that, with time, she would like to work her way into the Criminal Investigations Division.