|Police in Guelph, Ont., await the arrival of Const. Jennifer Kovach. (Kate Schwass-Bueckert/QMI Agency)
GUELPH, Ont. - Const. Jennifer Kovach was remembered for her love for life, her sense of adventure and her love for her job during a public funeral Thursday.
“She packed more into her short life than most people do in a lifetime,” her mother Gloria Kovach told a packed Sleeman Centre in Guelph.
“Jen was such an incredible human being,” Gloria, a city councillor, told the hundreds gathered. “Her smile was so infectious.
Kovach, 26, died March 14 when her cruiser collided with a city bus around 12:30 a.m. She had been responding to a call for backup by a fellow officer at the time.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
“I will never forget that dreaded knock on the door,” Gloria said, choking up.
She remembered how excited she was to have a baby girl to play Barbies with, but said as friends and family know, that never happened.
“Jen’s idea of a spa day or a mud bath was an ATV or a dirt bike run with her friends,” Gloria said.
She also recalled a saying Jennifer had beside her bed growing up: Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow.
Platoon colleague Const. Neil Moulton was with Kovach in her final moments. He said everyone in the platoon thought of Kovach as a “little sister” and he joked they hadn’t met her current boyfriend because “we were known to be pretty tough in her boyfriends.”
He said she was also “the definition of serve and protect.”
“We lost a piece of ourselves. We lost a really good piece,” he said.
Kovach joined the force on Sept. 8, 2009, two days before she turned 23.
Guelph Police Chief Brian Larkin called her a “young, vibrant, dynamic and dedicated police officer.”
Friend Tara Spears lived with Kovach until two weeks ago and said Kovach was excited about her future: She had just adopted a dog from the humane society, was a new homeowner, and spoke about getting married and having children.
Roads in the city were closed as the Toronto Police Pipe Band and the mounted unit took part in a procession from the city’s police station, through the downtown core to the Sleeman Centre Thursday morning.
Guelph is 90 km west of Toronto.