Eyes and Vision

sec_arr Introduction

Author: David Louis, MD, MS, FACOEM

Publication year: 2016




Vision is critical to safe and effective performance of many law enforcement officer (LEO) job functions. These functions include pursuit driving, use of firearms, and the ability to identify hazards, persons, evidence, vehicles, license numbers, and weapons.1-7 An individualized assessment of the LEO’s visual function and disorders (VFD) should be performed using the following evaluative criteria to determine whether the individual’s condition and status permits safe and effective job performance. Such an evaluation should include knowledge of:

  • essential job functions in general;
  • the physical and physiologic demands of essential job functions;
  • hazards commonly related to law enforcement and the training of LEOs;
  • VFDs and their management;
  • the current stability of the VFD condition;
  • risk for sudden incapacitation associated with the VFD condition(s);
  • medical and human performance literature related to law enforcement;
  • the strengths and limitations of visual testing methods; and
  • how the VFD will affect the LEO’s ability to perform essential job tasks.