TAMPA, Fla. -- The son of a fallen Tarpon Springs Police Officer is following in his father's footsteps.

  • Seven receive $5,000 scholarship from Chiefs of Police Association
  • Andrew Kondek's father killed in line of duty in 2014
  • He says community, other officers helped his family during ordeal

Andrew Kondek is about to start his journey into a career in law enforcement.

On Thursday, he was one of seven recipients of a $5,000 scholarship awarded by the Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association.

Kondek's father, Officer Charles Kondek, was killed in the line of duty in 2014. Andrew Kondek said he was inspired by his father's service.

"Seeing how much he loved serving his community and making a difference, that took a huge part in it," Kondek said.

Kondek said the community and fellow law enforcement helped his family get through some of their darkest days.

"Anyone that wears a badge or is a first responder is family. They've all come together and helped me through tough times," Kondek said.

Many of those officers were there Thursday when Andrew took the next steps on his journey to become a police officer.

"It's difficult to get young people into the profession, and to have somebody who had such a huge sacrifice follow in his father's footsteps means the world to us," said Charlie Vazquez, Chief of Tampa International Airport Police Department, said.

"He'd be proud. He'd probably cry a little bit but he'd be real proud and excited for me," Kondek said of his father.

For more information on the Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association, visit https://chiefsfoundation.org