Can a Deaf Person Be a Cop? (Answered)

can a deaf person be a cop

People with disabilities often face challenges when it comes to choosing careers.

No matter how passionate a disabled person is about some jobs, they just can’t go for them because of the nature of the jobs.

And even if they succeed in getting the jobs, a lot of things will have to be put in place to enhance their functionality.

The police force is a high-level security job that requires a lot of training and skills. The ability to hear sounds and detect danger is very important. So, technically, a person with hearing impairment may not fit in.

But does this mean that a deaf person can never be a cop?

Read on for full details.

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Can a Deaf Person Become a Police Officer?

Yes, a deaf person can be a cop.

This, however, depends on the requirements needed in the selection process.

There are several cases of persons with hearing impairment who are eligible to apply as police officers, as long as they are safe enough to carry out the duties required.

However, they would be asked to conduct practical work-based scenarios or trade tests with experienced cops to ascertain the impact of their hearing impairment on communication. The trade test entails both verbal and radio communication based on a real work setting.

This trade test is made very effective with the help of digital hearing aids.

In other words, deaf persons will be able to carry out their cop duties aptly with the proper utilization of modern digital hearing aids.

Related: How to Work With a Person Who Is Deaf or Hearing Impaired

How Deaf Cops Communicate

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It’s no longer news that deaf persons now work as cops in various countries.

However, the question of how they communicate with their colleagues as well as the general public comes into play.

Here are a few great tips on how cops suffering from hearing impairment can communicate with their colleagues and the general public.

Sign language and an interpreter

Most deaf cops often use sign language to communicate even for the simplest of tasks.

Their colleagues might be unsure of how to communicate with them, hence, the need for a qualified sign language or oral interpreter.

Assistive listening devices to help enhance sound

Deaf cops can use an assistive listening device such as hearing aids to amplify the sounds they can hear around them. Hearing aids help to make hearing impaired cops carry out their jobs effectively as they can get to hear what’s happening in their environment

Visual aids or gestures to help replace oral communication

This is one of the easiest ways that a deaf cop can communicate effectively without having to speak orally.  Gesturing with the hands or utilizing visual aids such as photographs, itineraries, and computers.

Related: Can You Be Fired for Being Hearing Impaired? (Answered)

Pen and paper

Most deaf persons are more accustomed to always having a pen and paper with them in case they cannot hear others properly or vice versa. This also applies to deaf cops who don’t have their hearing aids on them.

Mobile phones and computer

Technology has made life very easy for everyone. Deaf cops are not left out of the benefits. They can type on their phone or computer to communicate with their colleagues and others.

Lip reading

Some hearing-impaired persons are quite good at reading lips and can quickly understand what their colleagues are saying.

Can a Deaf Person Join the Police? Opinions from Experts

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Opinion 1

N.C Barry is a police officer for a medium-sized department.

He disclosed that anything is possible. If an amputee can get hired in a reputable organization, then a deaf person can too.

He also stated that becoming a cop as a deaf person is primarily based on the department that is recruiting.

Related: Can a Deaf Person Work in a Warehouse? (Answered)

Opinion 2

Bill Parker is a retired police officer who has served in a medium-sized department for 30 years. He explained that the chances of deaf persons becoming cops are under probability but it can happen.

He further added that under the Indiana state standards, a candidate must be able to pass a hearing test in both ears. Unfortunately, if there is a failure in any of the ears, it automatically disqualifies the candidate.

The only exception to this disqualification is if there is a special accommodation that allows a deaf person to pass the hearing test. However, the successful candidate will have an excludable condition.

Opinion 3

Zach Cooper is a police officer at the Detroit Police Department. He explained that a deaf cop being employed is based on what the agency permits.

Those with cochlear implants have an upper edge over being hired over those who don’t have one.

However, he further advised that instead of any deaf person banking on the response of any police officer who is not in charge of recruiting, he insisted that they put a call across their local police department and inquire since agencies vary.

Opinion 4

Mark Tarte is a retired police sergeant. He stated that a deaf person could be an asset to a police department as a clerk or a volunteer.

But they could not be police officers or 911 operators. They would have to involve all of their senses, such as hearing, to become a police officer.

Opinion 5

Steven Burnham stated that he had always believed that any company that hires people with a disability will always benefit. However, they must fit the right job with the person with a disability.

He further explained that disabled people can also achieve high goals and good jobs.

Steven commended deaf persons by declaring that he had the utmost respect and admiration for any officer accomplishing a job that is normally difficult for anyone, let alone a person with any disability like hearing impairment.

Can a Deaf Person Be a Cop? (Answered)


My love for the disabled community started when I helped a blind man cross the road at around age 6. Fast forward to decades later, I became the caregiver of my grandma, who lost her ability to speak in her 90s. This blog helps me to produce helpful content that aligns with my passion.

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