Scholarship honoring fallen officer awarded to twins

This week marks eight years since Phoenix Police Officer George Cortez was killed in the line of duty.

The officer was responding to a call at a check cashing store when he was shot and killed while trying to arrest the suspect.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Youth Assistance Foundation is honoring his memory now, with a scholarship in his name. It was awarded to a set of twins who are MCSO explorers.

The foundation handed out two $2,000 scholarships to the explorers, twin brother and sister Una and Erwin Durkovic.

"We feel very privileged and touched that we actually have this kind of support in our academic endeavors," said Erwin Durkovic.

Their support is in memory of the fallen Officer Cortez, who was killed eight years ago during a check cashing store robbery; his family was there to present the twins with the honor.

"My brother and I are both going off to school at the same time, so it's kind of pricey at the moment, and I plan on going to Phoenix College, so this will cover my entire tuition so now I can focus instead of getting a job, focus on books and stuff," said Una Durkovic.

During their time as explorers with MCSO the twins worked closely with deputies and volunteered in the community, they are thankful to those who took the time to teach them.

"I feel like especially now, law enforcement is woefully under appreciated, and I feel like everyone, especially you should be thanked every day," said Una.

A third MCSO explorer who is heading to the junior olympics camp, received a scholarship for $425.

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