The Police Pension Board for the City of Orlando approved a disability retirement for a 37-year-old officer diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome, a decision that the officer's attorney called “unprecedented,” WOFL Fox 35 reported.
Officer Gerry Realin, 37, served on a Hazmat team that recovered bodies after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in June 2016. Several doctors said Realin was permanently disabled by the experience and unable to return to police work. The city, however, assigned Realin to desk work against the advice of his physicians.
Steven McKillop, an attorney representing the city, argued during a hearing that not enough time had passed to know whether Realin was permanently disabled. He accused Realin and his wife, Jessica, of using the diagnosis as an excuse for retiring early, Fox 35 reported.
Jessica Realin tried but failed to persuade state lawmakers to change the state’s workers’ compensation law to provide coverage for PTSD.
Fox 35 said that officers approved for a disability retirement typically receive 80% of the average of the last three years of pay, which will work out to about $45,000 annually for Realin.
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