A newly hired officer with the Dalhart Police Department in Texas is the first female deaf commissioned police officer in the state.
Officer Erica Trevino, who reports for duty on April 14, is fluent in four sign languages and can communicate in ways most officers can't when someone is in distress or needs help, according to KVII-TV
"It’s a passion of mine," the 25-year-old told the news station. "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 went to to West Texas A&M University before graduating third in her class at the police academy at Amarillo College.
Dalhart Police Chief David Conner said that Trevino's ability to communicate with those who are hard of hearing or deaf will be a tremendous asset for the department.
"Is it going to be a challenge for her and us? Yes, there’s no doubt," Conner said. "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."
For her first six months on the job, Trevino will be partnered with a field training officer and work the night shift.