‘We were always going to be together,’ spouse of slain police officer says

The spouse of a fallen Fredericton police officer describes her partner as a committed family man who loved his job.

Const. Robb Costello was one of four people gunned down Friday morning in Fredericton’s Nashwaaksis neighbourhood.

He left behind his spouse, Jackie McLean, two children, Kassie and Kaitlyn Costello, and two step-children, Katie and Zach Steeves.

McLean and Costello would have celebrated their five-year anniversary on Aug. 26.

McLean said Costello always promised he would come home.

“The hardest part for me right now is that he hasn’t come home,” said McLean. “I haven’t even had a chance to see him yet. To me, that’s like he hasn’t come home yet.”

Reluctant romance

Costello leaves behind his spouse, Jackie McLean, two step-children, Katie and Zach Steeves, and two children (not pictured), Kassie and Kaitlyn Costello. (Michael Cole/CBC)

McLean met her future partner on the dating website OkCupid.

She said she was always wary of dating sites and for a period spurned his advances.

“When I received a message from him I actually kind of disregarded it,” said McLean.

Costello would often text her and ask her to go out for coffee, a request she eventually gave in to.

She still thought the date would be a dud. But there was an instant connection, and they talked until they were kicked out of the coffee shop when it closed for the day.

Father 4 times over

Costello’s two step-children fondly referred to their stepfather as their ‘faux pa.’ (Michael Cole/CBC)

McLean said Costello was most proud of his children, including his two daughters from a previous marriage.

“He was really proud of his daughters. He was really proud of the women they were growing up to be,” said McLean.

He also quickly connected with his two step-children, from McLean’s previous marriage.

“Robb really stepped in and became a second dad to them, for sure,” she said.

“We were visiting my mother and my daughter said, ‘Robb’s not my dad, but he’s like my fake dad. He’s like my faux pa.”

The name stuck and Costello’s two step-children made him a trophy, declaring him “#1 Faux-Pa.”

Loved policing

Police officers Robert Costello, 45, and Sara Burns, 43 were killed in the north-side shooting in Fredericton on Friday morning. (Fredericton Police Force/Twitter)

Aside from his children, McLean said Costello was most proud of his job, which he always loved.

“It’s easy in law enforcement to lose your enthusiasm for this job over time,” said McLean.

“Robb had been doing this job for 20 years and I think that he loved it just as much the day he passed as the day he started, maybe even more so.”

Costello and McLean talked about how dangerous his job was and the inherent risks in policing.

“He really wanted to make sure that I knew what I was getting into by being with someone in law enforcement,” said McLean.

But McLean said being aware of the risks does little to numb the pain.

“No one who’s a law enforcement spouse should have to sit in the seat that I’m in right now.”

‘He broke the rules’

A makeshift memorial has been set up in front of the Fredericton police station. (Maria Jose Burgos/CBC)

McLean said she’s struggling to think of a life without her partner.

She said they made two promises to each other: the first was no dying; the second was no killing, unless it was to make sure the first promise was kept.

“He promised me he was never going to die. He promised we were never going to die, we were always going to be together,” said McLean.

“I guess he broke the rules.”

McLean said Costello would often go to work early, often leaving for a 7 a.m. shift at 6 a.m.

Regardless, he would kiss her goodbye every morning.

“This particular morning I was only kinda partially awake,” McLean said through tears.

“I guess if I knew that [would] be the last time I was going to kiss him I would’ve woken up a little bit more. Maybe also hugged him.”

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Originally posted 2018-08-13 03:43:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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