Bill Furman had passed his physical exams and was moving on in the academy to become a police officer. When the director told him he couldn't continue training and wear his hearing aids. He says his hearing aids are no different than police officers who wear glasses to see better. And he's turning to the courts to make the state hear him out.
Furman is a Parking and Animal Control officer in Bellefonte. But it's been a life-long dream to be a police officer. He has pictures of himself wearing his fatherís police uniform when he was a child.
Furman's also deaf. But you wouldn't know it to talk to him. His hearing aids fit in his ear canal and you really can't see them when you look at his face. But right now those hearing aids are keeping him from living out his dream.
The State Police runs the Officer Training Academy which certifies people to become municipal officers. And Act 120 says that you can't use a hearing aid when qualifying.
Furman says that's not fair. And the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania is backing him up. They filed a lawsuit in U. S. District Court Wednesday that says it's not only unfair, it's in direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And they're hoping to change state law.
Furman wants to serve as a police officer in Bellefonte, the community that hired him four years ago.
There's also a bill in the House of Representatives that would also change the state law, but it's been stalled in committee.