1. #1
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    Cool being Color Blind

    How much do being color blind hurts your chances of becoming a police officer?
    I have a friend who is working on becoming a police officer. He has a mild color deficiency. Will this hurt him in the process?

    thank you


    (Fools rush in where angles fear the tread)

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    Being able to see, describe and document colors is extremely important.

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    no worries....I am a bit color blind and for most it's not an issue.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by fayt87linegod View Post
    How much do being color blind hurts your chances of becoming a police officer?
    I have a friend who is working on becoming a police officer. He has a mild color deficiency. Will this hurt him in the process?

    thank you


    (Fools rush in where angles fear the tread)
    It varies from department to department. Honestly it's a very subjective issue, because over 90% of those who have some sort of color deficiency are moderate red/green. I hate using the terms "color blind," because everyone thinks you can't tell the colors between a fire engine and a school bus. I have a mild red/green color deficiency. It kept me from getting hired with one department, but not from another. It burned me with US Secret Service as well, even after an exemplary 7-year career with the police department I'm currently with.

    Some will be quick to jump in and mention vehicle colors, colors of clothing, etc. They do not realize that those with moderate red/green color deficiency can see most reds and greens and readily identify colors as those with normal color vision. Those with mild deficiencies tend to get confused only with different shades/hues of reds, browns, and greens. I know some people with perfect color vision that have problems identifying some colors of cars as well. When calling out descriptive data on a vehicle or suspect, I have rarely ever heard a "brown" car or a person with "brown" clothing. There is always more info to hand down (male/female, white/black/asian, height information, vehicle make/model, blue jeans/shorts/khakis, etc etc etc). Usually enough information to narrow down the person/vehicle/building that is being described. I have not had one issue with it in my eight years as a LEO.

    Unfortunately there are departments out there that continue to use the same 100 year old Ishihara color-dot test and fail out very qualified applicants. Other departments will use a little bit better testing such as the Farnsworth D15 (which is still subjective in my opinion). Bottom line, your friend could get passed up because of his deficiency depending on the department. It's unfortunate, but many agencies won't bend on it.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScott31 View Post
    It varies from department to department. Honestly it's a very subjective issue, because over 90% of those who have some sort of color deficiency are moderate red/green. I hate using the terms "color blind," because everyone thinks you can't tell the colors between a fire engine and a school bus. I have a mild red/green color deficiency. It kept me from getting hired with one department, but not from another. It burned me with US Secret Service as well, even after an exemplary 7-year career with the police department I'm currently with.

    Some will be quick to jump in and mention vehicle colors, colors of clothing, etc. They do not realize that those with moderate red/green color deficiency can see most reds and greens and readily identify colors as those with normal color vision. Those with mild deficiencies tend to get confused only with different shades/hues of reds, browns, and greens. I know some people with perfect color vision that have problems identifying some colors of cars as well. When calling out descriptive data on a vehicle or suspect, I have rarely ever heard a "brown" car or a person with "brown" clothing. There is always more info to hand down (male/female, white/black/asian, height information, vehicle make/model, blue jeans/shorts/khakis, etc etc etc). Usually enough information to narrow down the person/vehicle/building that is being described. I have not had one issue with it in my eight years as a LEO.

    Unfortunately there are departments out there that continue to use the same 100 year old Ishihara color-dot test and fail out very qualified applicants. Other departments will use a little bit better testing such as the Farnsworth D15 (which is still subjective in my opinion). Bottom line, your friend could get passed up because of his deficiency depending on the department. It's unfortunate, but many agencies won't bend on it.
    I'm the same.....great answer.

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    I meant to add that I have passed sufficient color vision testing to get my pilot's license. It's sad that those with a color vision deficiency can fly commercial aircraft, responsible for hundreds of lives, but the same folks can't wear the uniform at many departments.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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    This addresses the implications for job performance should answer a lot of your questions. I believe the part about color vision starts on page 47.

    http://lib.post.ca.gov/Publications/Vision.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by L-1 View Post
    This addresses the implications for job performance should answer a lot of your questions. I believe the part about color vision starts on page 47.

    http://lib.post.ca.gov/Publications/Vision.pdf
    I don't agree with the publication, but that's my opinion. I'm not sure who their testing subjects were or how many were involved, but it still implies that those who have errors on the Farnsworth D-15 should not be a patrol officer. That is a subjective test and to group all those in the same category that have errors on the test is wrong. Bottom line, colors are learned. If someone screwed up on the Farnsworth test, they could turn around and study the color pattern, memorize it, take it over and pass.

    How do we know what the color yellow looks like? We are told what color yellow is at a very young age. Although a green make look different to someone with a red/green color deficiency than one with normal color vision, we still learn and memorize that color and identify it as green if we see it again. It's a learned behavior.

    Ok, off my soap box. Obviously it's a sore spot with me.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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    color blindness is a DQ for USPP and most federal agencies, i have heard there are ways to appeal the standard test, an use an alternate, but I have no idea how.

    good luck

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    It depends upon the agency. During my physical examination I was asked to distinguish colors between a red and green rubber band. Logic saved me since I had no clue what color they were, lol.

    If I had to do color plate tests I wouldn't be here today.

    All of the federal agencies require normal color vision, and I'm told the coast guard and other military law enforcement offices require it too. Whether or not a waiver can be implemented is beyond me. Our state police, and I believe our game and fish officers are tested for it as well.

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    I'm with SgtScott31 on this. I am also slightly color deficient. I am also a Commercial Pilot. For the FAA and the State Patrol I had to pass an alternative test from an approved list. I took the Farnsworth and passed it just fine. When I was a kid and someone pointed out what was green to me, I ID'd it as green. While it may not be the same as what someone else sees (does anyone really see it exactly the same?...), it is still green for me. I haven't had any issues thus far in my aviation career or law enforcement career. There is an online version of the test here that I used to "practice" with. It works quite well I think.

    http://www.univie.ac.at/Vergl-Physio...rtestF-en.html

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    thanks

    thank you all, your answer might have saved my friend ???

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    thanks

    thank you all, your answer might have saved my friend ??? i put this text in pink for the on going fight against cancer

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    color blind thanks

    thank you all, your answer might have saved my friend ??? i put this text in pink for the on going fight against cancer

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    Quote Originally Posted by jvc4088 View Post
    no worries....I am a bit color blind and for most it's not an issue.....
    me too...I can get about halfway throught that little test book, then i cant see the colors...I still got the job
    I can still tell what color a guys shirt is, a gals eyes are or when the light is red, etc...its not an issue
    "Lighten da' cargo...Fer' a chick wid' big boobs...cause I like boobs, big boobs...."
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    slamdunc

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    Quote Originally Posted by fayt87linegod View Post
    How much do being color blind hurts your chances of becoming a police officer?
    I have a friend who is working on becoming a police officer. He has a mild color deficiency. Will this hurt him in the process?

    thank you


    (Fools rush in where angles fear the tread)
    Not really an issue, unless they plan on going Federal level one day which I'm sure they are a little more paticular....

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    Quote Originally Posted by 901Boy View Post
    Not really an issue, unless they plan on going Federal level one day which I'm sure they are a little more paticular....
    I believe the standard for the Feds is the Farnsworth D15, so I encourage those with any color-vision issues to study/view that particular test to make sure. Not all optometrists have them, but you can find one that may charge a minimal fee ($50 or less) to come and take it; or you could purchase them online for $150+.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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