Florida Police Department Makes College Graduation Memorable for Fallen Officer’s Daughter

May 24, 2021 Updated: May 24, 2021

A Florida police department has made college graduation day extra special for the daughter of a fallen officer by showing up in full force for the celebration.

Honor student Aleena Kondek graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Central Florida.

Tragically, her late father, Tarpon Springs officer Charles “Charlie” Kondek Jr., was not in attendance; he was killed in the line of duty in December 2014.

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Aleena with her late father’s picture. (Courtesy of Teresa Kondek)

Yet Tarpon Springs Police Department (TSPD) made sure their fallen hero was represented at his daughter’s milestone event.

Officers from TSPD were joined by members of the University of Central Florida Police Department (UCFPD) to take photos with the happy graduate.

Aleena’s mother, Teresa Kondek, told The Epoch Times that Pasco County Sheriff’s Office also sent an honor guard to their house, and a Huey military helicopter performed a fly over to congratulate her daughter.

Epoch Times Photo
The Pasco County Sheriffs Office sent an honor guard and a Huey military helicopter over to Aleena’s house to congratulate her. (Courtesy of Teresa Kondek)

Since her father’s passing, Aleena, the youngest of five siblings, has told teachers and peers that she owes her determination to her dad and intends to make him proud by reaching her academic goals, according to a GoFundMe college fund started when Aleena was in high school.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Aleena also worked at UCFPD while completing her college studies.

Epoch Times Photo
Fallen Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charlie Kondek Jr. (Courtesy of Teresa Kondek)

The TSPD wished Aleena the “greatest success” in a Facebook post, pledging full confidence in her ability to rise to the occasion and help others as her career progresses.

The UCFPD, adding their own congratulations, wrote: “We know our officers can’t fill the shoes of her father on this milestone day, but we hope that our presence reminded her of how proud he and her extended law enforcement family are.

“Do great things, Aleena! Charge on!”

Aleena has hit the ground running. The young woman has accepted a job as a registered nurse at a prestigious hospital in Florida.

Epoch Times Photo
Aleena (R) and her siblings stand next to the obituary pole with their dad’s name. (Courtesy of Teresa Kondek)

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