DALHART, Texas (KVII) — 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 Circa affiliate 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.