Const. Jennifer Kovach is being remembered by friends, family and colleagues as a passionate member of the Guelph Police Service who was fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming an officer.
Kovach was en route to assisting another police officer early Thursday when she lost control of her cruiser, which collided with a Guelph Transit bus. She later died in hospital.
Kovach is the third member in the history of the Guelph Police Service to die in the line of duty.
"Jennifer didn’t come to work, she came to make a difference in the city of Guelph," said Guelph Police Chief Brian Larkin at an afternoon press conference.
Larkin added that Kovach had offers to join other police services, but insisted on staying in her hometown.
Kovach was the daughter of Guelph Ward 4 Coun. Gloria Kovach. During a press conference, Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge said she knew Kovach personally for many years.
"I watched Jennifer grow up from a young child to a teenager to a young woman," said Farbridge. "Its a very sad day and my heart goes out very much to her mother and family."
Cam Guthrie, another councillor for Guelph Ward 4, said he also knew Kovach since she was a child. "Our whole city is mourning together today for sure," Guthrie told CBC News.
Kovach graduated in 2007 from the police foundations program at Conestoga College in Kitchener. Professor Carolyn Harrison, one of Kovach’s instructors, said she remembers Kovach as being a very keen and talented student.
"Jen was one of those model students that was just a great credit to her class," said Harrison. "She was enthusiastic, she had a great sense of humour, she was always smiling."
Below is a collection of reaction to the news of Const. Jennifer Kovach's death on social media.