Family, friends, colleagues, and dignitaries from across the country and Guelph community paid tribute to the late Constable Jennifer Kovach at a moving public service held at the Sleeman Centre.
There are no words that can adequately express our sorrow over the on-duty death of Constable Jennifer Kovach – Badge 72.
We can find comfort in celebrating the life of Jennifer.
To me that is what “Heroes in Life not in Death” means.
These words appear on the pedestal of the Ontario Police Memorial. The Memorial’s Wall of Honour contains the names of all fallen officers who have died in the service to the people of Ontario. These words are from a Police Officer’s Widow and reflect her feelings shortly after her husband’s funeral.
And that is what our community has done over the last week.
We have found meaning in Jennifer’s commitment to service. She fulfilled a childhood dream to serve as a police officer in her own home town.
We have found meaning in the tradition of service that has defined Jennifer’s family – from her mother, with over 20 years of service as a City Councillor to her father with over 30 years of service as a paramedic.
We have found meaning in the role model that Jennifer has been to young women. She was an energetic and gregarious young woman in a non-traditional role living life on her own terms. This side of Jennifer’s spirit has been captured so wonderfully through a tribute on YouTube.
We have found meaning in the exceptional response of the men and women on duty that fateful night – from the quick actions of the Transit Operator and Route Supervisor, the training of our firefighters and paramedics to the professional care of the nurses and doctors at Guelph General Hospital.
We have found meaning in the gratitude we feel for the men and women of our police service, and all emergency responders, who put their own safety at risk to keep us safe.
And we have found meaning in the response of our community. We are a close, resilient community and we have come together to support each other.
Thank you to the Guelph community and Canada for joining the Kovach family in saying goodbye to their loved one. I greatly appreciate how we have come together as a community to find strength, comfort and support during this difficult period for everyone.
Thank you to the Guelph Police Service and City of Guelph staff who have worked tirelessly over the last week to ensure that Constable Kovach received the tribute she deserved.
My sincerest condolences to the entire Kovach family, rest in peace Jennifer.
“Remember loved ones never leave
They are forever near
For their love lives on in memories
Our hearts hold dear”