In the UK in 2003 the Disability Discrimination act was passed in order to prevent those with disabilities from being discriminated against during the hiring process. This is a good thing, right? Maybe not. Although the law has practical requirements such as making sure employers make reasonable accomidations for those disabilities somethings cannot be changed. In the case of police officers before 2003, anyone who applied for the police academy was given a physical and if they were found to be colorblind they failed. With the implementation of this act, applicants may now be entered into the academy although once they graduate their positions on the force are limited. In the UK it is the higher ranking officers that are allowed to carry firearms and are trained in rapid response driving courses (think high speed chase or emergency response). Because of the color coded safety (designed by the manufacturer and therefore not something the force can change) those who are color blind cannot carry a firearm and are therefore limited in how high they can go in their carrer.
While not being able to see color may not seem like a big deal, think about how hard it is to describe a suspect without being able to tell the color of their: shirt, pants, hat, hair, eyes, bag (purse or satchel) etc. Personally, my boyfriend is monochromatic color blind (meaning he sees everything only in black, white and gray like old movies) and it can be difficult for him to locate things. Think about how many times in a typical day you give direction by using color; "Where's the mailbox?" "On the corner by that green sedan." or "How do I print this?" "Click on the blue button that says print." or "Honey, can you grab my red jacket for me?" Although he can get by just by knowing positioning (all traffic lights are in the same order) he is still not allowed to do certain things: be an electrician, pilot, or to drive a vehicle if we ever decide to move to Romania.