Colorblind Policeman

When reading through Police Officer – Does Color Blindness Matter?, you could think that it is impossible to be a policeman when you are suffering from a color vision deficiency. But I was contacted by K., who told me a different story.

My life long dream has always been to work in law enforcement and about a year ago my life long dream was shot down when I found out that I was colorblind and couldn’t pass a color test. After doing some research on the net I found www.colormax.org and gave them a call. At first I spoke with one of their technicians who was able to give me a lot who was very helpful, I started to get very excited.

Could it really be possible to correct his color vision in a way to pass the required color blindness test? After a 20min phone call with the eye specialist he got really excited, because it looked like that there is a chance to get his dream job police officer.

About 2 months later I traveled to Baltimore. They got me the prefect lens for me to pass the color test. I had never worn contact lenses before, as my regular vision is perfect. Several weeks later I retook the color test, passed and was on my way in to law enforcement. My dream come true!

This story really sounds like a dream. But is it allowed to wear corrective contacts for a color vision test?

Before I went in for the test I put the contact lenses in my eyes. “Didn’t ask, Didn’t tell,” and I dont recall every seeing anything that said I couldn’t wear glasses or contacts for the test.

K. is now an unofficial colorblind police officer. I asked him a few more question which I would like to recapitulate in the following interesting points:

  • He can distinguish colors, but couldn’t pass the Ishihara test,
  • he is not wearing the color corrective contacts on his daily job,
  • and he doesn’t feel like his color blindness affects his job in any way.

Should law enforcement recruitment centers reconsider their viewpoint on colorblind police officers? Should everybody try to cheat on color blindness tests in a recruitment process? Or should you be upright and accept, that color blindness is most often a killer criterion to be a policeman?