Tributes for 'dedicated' constable
Published 11/02/2013 | 13:26
Philippa Reynolds was a dedicated and valuable officer, Northern Ireland's Justice Minister said.
David Ford led Stormont Assembly members in paying tribute to the young constable from south Antrim.
"Philippa Reynolds died doing a job she was enthusiastic and dedicated about, working on behalf of everyone in this community," he said. "This tragic death has affected the PSNI deeply."
She became a fully fledged constable in early 2011 and spent her entire career in Strand Road station in Londonderry. The minister added: "She was already a dedicated officer and extremely valued colleague."
He referred to a photo of her smiling as she retrieved a shoe, released by her parents Mervyn and Dorothy and the rest of the family.
"Many a girl with the heel of her shoe caught in a grating would be sitting sobbing, she was just laughing, that was the personality she had," Mr Ford added.
East Londonderry MLA Gregory Campbell started a special short debate at Stormont about the death.
"We are the losers as a society of a young woman that has passed on as a result of this accident."
Sinn Fein MLA Mitchel McLaughlin said: "It is clear that Philippa Reynolds was a remarkable young woman, that the PSNI and we as a community have lost a bright young talent who would have made a distinctive contribution to our community."
Presbyterian Moderator Rev Roy Patton expressed shock at the death and offered the sincere condolences of the Church to her family, friends and colleagues: "It is often only when a tragedy like this happens that we realise the dangers that are faced everyday by people like Philippa who have dedicated their lives to serve others and the great debt of gratitude we owe to such selfless people."