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Son of fallen Tarpon Springs police officer sworn in to Tampa International Airport Police Dept.

Andrew Kondek never intended on going into law enforcement until after his father, a 21-year veteran of the police force, was killed in the line of duty.

TAMPA, Fla. — The son of a Tarpon Springs Police officer who was killed in the line of duty honored his father’s legacy Wednesday when he was sworn in to the Tampa International Airport Police Department as an officer.

"I grew up in law enforcement and I grew up in front of my dad...so I feel like I got a head start on this law enforcement career," Andrew Kondek said.

Andrew's father, Charles 'Charlie K' Kondek, was a 21-year veteran of the Tarpon Springs Police Department. He was shot and killed in December 2014. 

"He was always kind to people, always caring, always trying to help everybody," Andrew said remembering his father.

Tarpon Springs Police Chief Jeffrey Young, who served alongside Charlie Kondek, attended the swearing-in ceremony to show his support for Andrew and the entire Kondek family. 

"[I] couldn't be prouder as a friend, family member," Young said. "I know your dad's looking down with pride and I was just telling your mom, she said, 'you know, his dad should've been here pinning the badge on him,' and I said, 'he was here with you and with your mom and he's looking down on you every day with pride.'" 

Andrew Kondek said he chose the Tampa International Airport Police Department because he believes it will mold him to his highest potential and give him the chance to carve his own path. 

"If I can make a difference in a single person's day, it's a good day for me," Kondek said. 

June 30 is not only significant to Andrew because of the swearing-in ceremony, but it's also his birthday. The department recognized the milestone by bringing out a cake after the ceremony and singing to him.

"It is coincidental, I don't know how it happened," Andrew said. "Good birthday present."

After graduating from law enforcement academy in 2019, Andrew Kondek told 10 Tampa Bay that he never intended on going into law enforcement until after his father was shot and run over by a man trying to avoid arrest in December 2014.

“I’ve finally accomplished something I’ve been working really, really hard towards and now I’m nervous to actually complete it and move on,” Kondek said, hours before the graduation ceremony. “It’s been a long time coming but it’s just weird to finally finish it and actually be able to move on and be able to start a career.”

He said seeing everybody come together in the aftermath of the tragedy is what pushed him to pursue a law enforcement career.

“I’m just here to basically finish out my dad’s legacy and be the best police officer I can, just like he was," Kondek said.

RELATED: Son of officer killed in the line of duty graduates from law enforcement academy

RELATED: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office honors fallen law enforcement officers with memorial

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