The 27-year-old, from the south Antrim area, only became a fully-fledged PSNI constable in 2011 - but she was hailed as a dedicated officer and valued colleague.
"Philippa Reynolds died doing a job she was enthusiastic and dedicated about, working on behalf of everyone in this community," Justice Minister David Ford told MLAs at Stormont on Monday.
"This tragic death has affected the PSNI deeply."
Mr Ford also referred to the photograph that her parents had chosen to release as a reflection of the bubbly person their daughter was - one in which she was crouched, laughing, to retrieve a shoe.
"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.
Philippa Reynolds died when the police patrol car she was travelling in was struck by a stolen 4X4 vehicle on the Limavady Road in Londonderry, in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Two other officers sustained minor injuries.
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.
Rev Roy Patton, Presbyterian Moderator
"We are the losers as a society of a young woman that has passed on as a result of this accident," East Londonderry DUP MLA Gregory Campbell 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," Sinn Féin MLA for South Antrim, Mitchel McLaughlin, added.
SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan said: "This incident highlights the risks and dangers faced by the police and indeed all our emergency services on a daily and nightly basis."
Philippa was from the Nutt's Corner area of Antrim, but spent her entire police career working in Derry and was based at the station on the Strand Road.
PSNI tributes have already been led by Chief Constable Matt Baggott, who said the death was "a personal tragedy for her family and also for the whole Police Service".
The Mayor of Antrim, DUP councillor Roy Thompson, has expressed his sadness over the loss of a young woman who was known to his family.
He also described her as a former star pupil of Loanends Primary and Antrim Grammar School, and a keen hockey player.
"I visited the family home to extend sincere condolences on behalf of the Borough - her family and friends are absolutely devastated at this great loss," he said.
"I would also like to wish her two colleagues who were injured a speedy and full recovery."
Philippa's funeral will take place at Mossley Methodist Church in Newtownabbey on Wednesday afternoon.