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Texas Police Hires First Deaf Female Officer

WATCH [CC] - A Texas woman is making history after being sworn in as the state's first Deaf female police officer.

DALHART -- History is made in the Lone Star State. The newest recruit for the Dalhart Police Department becomes the first Deaf female police officer in Texas.

Her name is Erica Trevino and she's dreamed of being an officer since she was in kindergarten. But growing up, people told her she couldn't achieve her goal because of her disability. Today she proved them wrong as she was officially sworn in with Dalhart Police Department.

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"I'm ready to get to work," said Ofc. Erica Trevino after her swearing-in. It's that same drive and tenacity that led Chief David Conner to look past her disability and discover her special qualities. And that list is a long one.

"I believe she can do the job just like any other other police officer," said David Conner, Dalhart Police Chief. "She has proven time and time again that she can and will overcome those obstacles. She has her bachelor's degree in forensic science, she graduated 3rd from her class in the Academy, she's very intelligent and articulate."

Despite speaking English, Officer Trevino speaks some Spanish and is able to sign in five different languages including Spanish and Japanese. But there's one word she didn't pick up.

"People told me no because I was deaf," said Ofc. Trevino.

"So we've learned a long time ago not to tell Erica no," said Cindi Trevino, Erica's mom.

"She hasn't let life stand in her way, so who am I tell her she can't do it. Give her a chance," said Chief Conner.

Despite her impressive set of skills, the critics and naysayers remained. But so did Erica's resilience.

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"I just realized I'm not going to let anyone tell me what I can do and what I cannot do. So I decided to become a police officer. It's been a long, hard path, but here I am," said Ofc. Trevino.

Her first day is April 14th. Chief Conner said he's created special procedures to help Trevino with communication. She is able to hear calls over the police radio but dispatch will also text all calls to her phone.

The department bought a special cell phone to help with that. Plus, Trevino will also have a partner during her shifts.

Officer Trevino has been Deaf her entire life and has had to overcome stereotypes. She made history today, but she's just getting started. She said her next goal is to join the department's Criminal Investigation Department.


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