September PaulKosovich 6
 
In loving memory of Paul Kosovich 6657
4/12/1962 – 5/12/2019
 
By Jessica Cuthbert
 
 
 
A kind man, loving husband, devoted father and dedicated police officer.
 
When Inspector Paul Kosovich 6657 passed away in December 2019 after his battle with cancer, his loss was felt by many across the State.
 
He touched the lives of those who knew him personally and those he met in the job.
 
Paul’s wife, Jan Kosovich said her husband was bigger than life itself.
 
“He was passionate about things he cared about, his family, work and the community and was a dedicated police officer,” she said.
 
Jan met Paul when he graduated from the WA Police Academy in 1984.
 
Throughout his policing career, Paul was recognised for his outstanding bravery and commitment to the job.
 
In his career spanning 36 years, Paul mostly policed in the country where he felt he could contribute more to the community and make a difference.
 
He worked in stations in Halls Creek and South Headland and was the Officer in Charge at Three Springs, Gingin, Narrogin and Geraldton.
 
He also worked in stations around Perth and at North West Metropolitan Traffic.
 
Jan said everywhere he went and worked, Paul put this heart and soul into the community.
 
In 2010, Paul was promoted to Inspector and spent time in the Wheatbelt District Office, Police Operations Centre, Forensic Divisional Office, Metropolitan Traffic Operations, Traffic Enforcement and State Communications Division.
 
Jan said policing came naturally to Paul and as a small child he had always wanted to be a police officer.
 
“I suppose his biggest inspiration was his father Peter who taught him to treat people fairly and humanely, no matter who they were or what they had done and that was self-evident in Paul’s interaction and treatment of everyone throughout his career,” she said.
 
Paul’s brother, recently retired Inspector Garry Kosovich said their father joined the WA Police Force in 1953.
 
“Paul was born in Port Hedland and grew up around police stations in the bush. From the outset Paul was our father’s shadow, and from a very young age he made it known that he wanted to be a police officer, just like his dad,” he said.
 
“Once he joined the job, he never looked back. Policing came naturally to him as he was passionate about the things he cared about – his family, his work and the community he served.” 
 
A career highlight was being awarded the Australia Bravery Medal and Royal Human Society Medal.
 
On August 28, 1986, Paul waded into the icy and raging waters of Rocky Pool in the John Forrest National Park to rescue school teacher Kevin Bennett, who was trying to save the life of a student. 
 
Ten-year-old, Nick was on a school excursion and had been swept into the water. Kevin quickly entered the water to rescue the boy, but the school outing soon became a tragedy.
 
When Paul arrived, he found the boy being supported by his teacher but realised Nick was trapped against a rock and being pelted by the flowing water. Both Kevin and Nick were struggling to keep their heads above water.
 
Paul, with a rope secured around his waist, climbed down the rock face and entered the rapids. He reached them with great difficulty and tied a rope around the teacher’s chest to keep him above water.
 
Tragically, he could not free the boy and it was then Paul realised Nick was dead. Paul and Queen067
 
He pulled the teacher free from the rock and dragged him through the water to the rock face where he was hoisted to safety. Paul was also hoisted to safety and was later treated for a knee injury.
 
A few years later, he was presented the Bravery Medal by Her Majesty the Queen at Government House in 1987.
 
Paul was only 24 years old when the incident occurred.
 
Jan said the incident deeply affected Paul and that he blamed himself for not saving the boy.
 
“He would tear up thinking about it and it was quite hard for him to talk about. For a long time he couldn’t bring himself to wear his medals but over time he came to accept the circumstances behind them and began wearing them,” she said.
 
“It was an honour and privilege to be presented these by the Queen. On the day, the father of the teacher he saved, personally thanked him for saving his son.”
Jan said her husband was not only an assiduous police officer, but a wonderful family man and role model.
 
“He was an amazing role model to his sons Michael and Adrian and their friends,” she said.
 
“He was always there for help and advice and he was always happy and loved a joke. He never took life seriously and would tell me constantly not to sweat the small stuff.
 
“He was a very positive person and looked on the bright side of life. He certainly had a way of lifting others up.”
 
Paul was heavily involved in any community he lived in, whether it be on the school P&C, assisting at school camps, speaking at assemblies or umpiring local sporting teams.
 
Jan said he loved his AFL, baseball, softball and squash. “Football was one way he could contribute to the community,” she said.
 
“Whilst stationed in the country he played for Halls Creek, South Hedland and Railways in Northam. He played his final senior game in a winning grand final for South Hedland.
 
“When we moved to Geraldton he took up umpiring the Great Northern Football League (GNFL), Mortlock and Upper Great Southern Leagues. Our second time at Geraldton he became the President of the GNFL and coached the Railways Under 14 team which Michael played in.”
 
A special moment for Paul was coming out of retirement to play football for Railways Northam with both sons.
 
When he wasn’t serving the community as a police officer or contributing to the community, Paul loved to travel.
 
Jan told Police News they loved to explore and see the country as well as holiday overseas. She said some of the family adventures included Singapore, Phuket, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Africa, Bali and Europe which Paul thoroughly enjoyed.
 
At his father’s funeral, Adrian said he reflected on his father as a man who truly lived so much of what life had to offer in such a short amount of time.
 
“He has died a man who will forever serve as a reminder as to what life is about. It’s not about material wealth, it’s about the people you open your life to, the precious moments you spend with family and the courage to step out and explore that big amazing world out there,” he read at the service last year.
 
Paul was often described as an old school copper, who when he gave his word on something, he meant it.
 
“If an officer walked into his office and said ‘Sorry boss, I’ve messed up’ Paul would just smile and say ‘It’s okay, I’ve seen and done it all, there’s nothing that we can’t sort, just always be honest with me and it will be fine,” Jan said.
 
More than anything, Paul was incredibly proud of his sons. His eldest, Adrian graduated from UWA with a Petroleum Engineering Degree in 2014. He is now working with Caltex in Sydney. Another proud moment was when his youngest, Michael, graduated as a police officer in June 2013.
 
Michael became a third generation of Kosovichs to don the blue uniform. He is currently serving in Broome.
 
Kosovich 3 Generations
 
 
Last month, the WA Police Union presented Jan with a framed memorial plaque in honour of Paul and his policing career.
 
She said the support from the Blue Family during the past year has been overwhelming.
 
“Paul’s cancer was so quick and aggressive, so we dealt with each day as it came. I know it meant a lot to Paul when Commissioner Chris Dawson saw him two days before he passed and thanked him for his service,” she said.
 
“Paul lived and breathed the WA Police Force.”