Light snow had fallen from the pre-dawn blackness the morning an off-duty officer pulled up to his police station for an unannounced visit. He stepped out of his black Ford Explorer and passed through the doors of the squat brick Brantford police headquarters, heading toward the constable on duty. It was 4:45 a.m., two weeks before Christmas in 2014.
Nearly 10 years had passed since Const. Adam Hill fulfilled his desire to become a “protector.” Armed with a Glock .40 and badge #28575 he started walking the beat straight out of basic training at the Ontario Police College. He’d been hired in Brantford, a city with the laid-back essence of a small town, founded on southwestern Ontario’s meandering Grand River. He’d pounded out shifts that stretched into the night, investigated disturbance calls and patrolled the streets. Four years in he’d changed gears, beginning a stint in two high schools, telling the local paper he hoped to “build bridges between police and students” as he strolled the halls.