ORLANDO, Fla. - A first responder who said he developed post-traumatic stress disorder after the Pulse terror attack will be able to get a disability pension following a months-long battle.
The city’s pension board had to ultimately figure out during a hearing Thursday if Officer Gerry Realin is permanently and totally disabled because of what he saw the night of June 12 2016.
At the center of the argument was his disability pension, which is 80 percent of his salary.
The decision is unanimous - Gerry Realin will get a disability pension. #WFTV— Cuthbert Langley (@CLangleyWFTV) July 13, 2017
Realin’s attorneys argued their client suffered PTSD after what he saw inside the club the night of the attack.
“Every doctor says, ‘No ability to return with accommodations to police service,’” said the attorney.
Realin was not at there for the decision Thursday because his doctor said it wasn’t in his best interest to attend.
As a city attorney argued Realin was looking for any reason to leave the force, Realin’s wife had an outburst and needed to leave.
In the end, the board unanimously agreed Realin should get the disability pension.
“It’s just overwhelming to know that his chapter of our lives is closed,” said Jessica Realin.
State law only allows the police department to pay officers an early pension for a physical injury.
Realin’s wife tried to get the law changed, but failed.
After the hearing, Realin’s attorney said he hoped lawmakers will reconsider.
The board can revisit Realin’s condition in 10 years.
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