Following his father

Not long after Charlie was killed my son, Andrew, told me about his plan to become an officer. He wanted to honor his father and keep our name alive. The thought of my son out there with the way the world is right now terrifies me but the more I talked to him about it, the more determined he became. Not many understand but it's a calling. This is something they are destined to do and there is no stopping them. I'm beyond proud of him and I've been amazed at his determination. He is his father's son. 


Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association Award

Andrew was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association to pay for his tuition at the PHSC Police Academy. This scholarship will cover the cost of his tuition, books, and supplies. Since the academy is full time, Andrew worked over seventy hours a week for months to save money to pay his finances for the time of the academy, so this scholarship lifted a huge financial burden for him.   In Andrew's words, "I understand the integrity, honesty, and sacrifice this career will require of me.” Andrew also intends to donate back to this organization with his first paycheck as an officer.      

 

LINKS FOR STORY: 

 

https://chiefsfoundation.org/photos/awardeee-2018-andrew-kondek_orig/

 

http://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/news/2018/07/12/son-of-slain-officer-receives-scholarship-ready-for-duty

 

 

 


August 26, 2018

Tomorrow my son will walk into a classroom for his first day of the police academy. Tomorrow he will begin to learn all the things his father never told him about this career. Tomorrow is the day that will change the way he looks at everything in life. I'm absolutely terrified but I'm so proud of him.

I'm proud because it takes a BRAVE person to answer this calling; especially in today's world. A world where he can't let his guard down to even sit and eat lunch. A world where he's a target every time he puts his uniform on. A world that could destroy him or take him from us. A world that you and I will never see.

It takes an even stronger person to choose this career after seeing his own father make the ultimate sacrifice that ended so violently. He is stepping forward to continue our family's love of law enforcement because he didn't want our name to die too. Yep, all of that and he is SO proud to start this journey. That's why it's a calling.

I want the academy to be tough - the toughest thing he's ever done. I want him to be mentally and physically challenged so that he sees the world in a different way - the parts of the world that I kept from him as he grew up. I want this because the things he will see in his career will follow him for the rest of his life and I need him to make it home when his shift ends.

Under that handsome face is the same little boy who loved to help people and went out of his way to make people happy. The same little boy who told the truth and waited to be grounded. The same little boy who took the blame for his sisters so they wouldn't get in trouble or cry. The same little boy that made an entire room come to life.

To the community he may be just another officer. To the evil out there, he's just another target. But to me, he's my son and a big part of my heart. He's a brother to his four siblings and we need him in our life. He is a part of his father and I want him to grow old and have his own family one day. I want him to have all the things in life that was taken from his father and I.

I love you, Andrew. You are exactly what this world needs. I hope this journey gives you pride but keeps you humble; just like your father.

Mom 


Third Annual Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Gala, September 2018

Not only were we honored to attend this event but to have my son recognized and given a St. Michael pendant was extremely overwhelming. We have been so supported and blessed after Charlie's death and we have so many to thank for that. I pray that Andrew has a long rewarding career and he's able to set an example and continue our love for law enforcement. 


Tampa Bay Rays recognize Andrew - September, 2018

The Tampa Bay Rays recognized Andrew and his journey to become a law enforcement officer, just as his father was. We were so honored to be a part of such a special night. The accomodations and staff were amazing and we can't thank this organization enough for everything they've done to support our family. 

 

His memorial truck was featured as well. 

 

LINKS:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC9939LHgRI


Pasco Hernando State College Police Academy Graduation, Class 107 February 13, 2019

Watching my son today without my husband was pretty tough. I don't know if I can even explain how proud I am of my son. Andrew has a huge heart and loves to give and whenever possible just like his father. There's no doubt he will make us proud out there.

 

The only thing I have from my husband's uniform was a pair of handcuffs that were in evidence during trial. I got them back and had them engraved for my son so that when he gets to put on his first uniform he will have a piece of his father with him.

 

To the amazing friends and strangers who came to support Andrew, we will never forget you.

 

Thank you, inFocus Laser Cutting and Engraving (Kyle Bonnell) for engraving these cuffs on such short notice.

 

To the following agencies, YOU are the reason we love this blue family so much - Tarpon Springs Police Department, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Coral Springs Police Department, Team South FL, NYPD, 10-13 Club, Hernando County Sheriff's Office, Clearwater Police Department, Temple Terrace Police Department, New Port Richey Police Department, Tampa Police Department, Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, and the Florida Highway Patrol. Without all of you, we would be lost. You are the reason we are standing so tall today.

 

Links:

https://phsc.edu/about-phsc/news/media/law-enforcement-academy-class-107-graduates-local-news-features-graduate

 

http://www.suncoastnews.com/news/son-of-slain-tarpon-officer-graduates-from-police-academy/article_7b21903a-346a-11e9-947a-7f789fe740a1.html

 

https://www.wtsp.com/video/news/local/pascocounty/son-of-fallen-tarpon-springs-officer-graduates-law-enforcement-academy/67-13e20e12-8cf5-49ba-ab33-5ca792e500ed 

 

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-pasco/fallen-officers-son-graduates-from-police-academy

 

 http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/son-of-fallen-tarpon-springs-officer-graduates-from-law-enforcement-academy

 

https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/news/2019/02/13/fallen-tarpon-springs-officer-s-son-graduates-law-enforcement-academy?cid=share_fb&fbclid=IwAR2JHeRcCEXNqNr5kQKzrRfxnJmloAtgHAWPpdZq3K2qUldTHtDOCTGFgQY

 

 

 

Credit: Jeff Rosenfield, Suncoast News

Credit: Jeff Rosenfield, Suncoast News

Credit: Teresa Kondek

Credit: Teresa Kondek

First official day with the Pasco Sheriff's Office!