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Living on the wrong side of the line

Posted at 10:14 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 23:17:31-05

SHREWSBURY, PA. — Jess fell in love with Tommy in first grade. He wanted to become a police officer. She wanted him to come home to her and her three children every night. Then one night he didn’t.

Baltimore City Police Officer Tommy Portz was killed in the line of duty in October of 2010.

At his funeral, Jess kept hearing, 'You and your family will be taken care of', but just a few weeks ago she read a line that threatened to derail her plans.

Her daughter Kirstin, now 18, just got accepted into Towson University to study medicine. Jess went online to apply for the Conroy and Cryor Scholarship. But it didn’t take long to realize the Portz family did not qualify.

You see, this family part of the thin blue line, lived on the wrong side of the line...Pennsylvania.

They live in Shrewsbury and the scholarship states you must be living in Maryland to be granted the money for college. Jess talked with her financial advisor who said to start a GoFundMe page, which she did.

But that only covers so much.

WMAR-2 News is in partnership with Signal 13 which helps police and their families.

Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Frank Battaglia created Signal 13 in the early 1980s. And just in the last four years alone, it has given around 70 hardship grants and 140 scholarship donations.

RELATED: Signal 13 Foundation helps BPD officers in need

Tonight, Signal 13 made a phone call to Jess that proves great people exist.