Orlando Pension Board decides disability issue this week

Pulse first responder Gerry Realin diagnosed with PTSD

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Police Department first responder Gerry Realin has been waiting for more than a year to learn if his diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder will be enough to convince the pension board to grant him full pension disability.

In his last psychiatric evaluation on June 16, the treating doctor concluded that Realin should "be declared disabled from any kind of police work."

"Mr. Realin is permanently and totally disabled (and)  unfit to work," the doctor wrote," and has been unfit for over the last year."

Realin has been receiving full benefits since June 16, 2016, but according to top brass at the Police Department, his "personal leave benefits " were depleted, effective June 22, 2017.

The Realin family says the Orlando Pension Board required five separate evaluations, each of which concluded Realin was unable to return to work.

Cynthia Startz Realin’s mother-in-law told News 6 it has been difficult watching him withdraw.
"It hurts us to see the pain they are going through,” she said, “He doesn’t have that smile anymore. He doesn’t have that laughter.”

Startz said Realin's two children, Jacoby and Olivia, don’t understand why their father is upset but they know something has changed.

“This is not just about the money," she said. ”It’s about giving them peace to the rest of the life they are going to go through, with what he is going through, and it’s not a peaceful one.”
The Orlando Pension Board meets on Thursday. Realin’s case is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at City Hall.

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News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.