First responder diagnosed with PTSD fights job assignment

OPD Officer Gerry Realin files for pension

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Pulse first responder Gerry Realin applied for an online duty pension Friday, just one day after Orlando Police Deputy Chief Orlando Rolon and City Attorney Austin Moore met with Realin's wife, Jessica, assigning him to a new position with the city’s STOPS red light safety program.

Jessica Realin said she met Rolon and Austin without an attorney present and was told she had to sign documents they presented her on Thursday.

The Realins have been leading the Blue and Red Movement, an organization calling for wage compensation for first responders who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Realin said Monday that he is following his doctor’s orders -- “the doctor’s assigned by (the Orlando Police Department),” he said.

“I’m not listening to the deputy chief or the city attorney,” he said. “The city’s best interest is money, not my health care.”

Realin’s attorney, Paolo Longo, said this was not about refusing an assignment.

“Gerry is absolutely not refusing to work at all,”  Longo said. “Under his collective bargaining agreement, he’s entitled to file for line of duty pension … this is a way for OPD to say they have work for him to try and deny his collective bargaining rights.”

Rolan emailed News 6 Monday evening to address the situation.

 “We hope he will report to work. He has personal time he will be using so that his pay is not affected. There are obligations he must meet to abide by the rules and regulations governed by the labor bargaining agreement. Decisions will continue to be made with the recommendations/approval of his physician,” he wrote.

Longo said he will be speaking with Realin’s treating physician on Tuesday.

Realin has said because of his flashbacks, he doubts he will ever return to the Orlando Police Department.

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