Hamilton Police Chief Glenn De Caire walked into the media briefing today shortly after 10:00 a.m., immediately the look on his face and his number 1 dress uniform told us what was coming.
It was the news nobody wanted to hear, but we had been unfortunately preparing for during the past few days.
It didn’t make it any easier. I looked at the face of Superintendent Dan Kinsella, the water in his eyes told the story – a career policeman holding back the emotion, trying to put on the brave paramilitary face expected of him at moments like this.
You couldn’t see that on camera, I thought about panning to show it – no, that would be too much. I could barely hold my own emotions seeing the devastation of the police commander who lead the massive operation to find Tim Bosma.
Then the words “It is with heavy heart that the Hamilton Police Service announces the death of Ancaster resident, Tim Bosma.”
Chief De Caire paused, you could feel it in the room, especially among the assembled members of the Hamilton Police Service. They already knew what De Caire was to say, it didn’t matter – it hit hard.
It was the news we didn’t want to hear.
Now we must focus on finding justice and supporting the family in any way they request – including giving them privacy.
We are Bosma
Crime is a terrible thing. It’s senseless and can strike any of us.
It was that seem of our innocence violated that drove our outpouring and reaction in the Tim Bosma disappearance. Tim was what we preceive ourselves to be – regular folks, working hard to raise a family, not doing anything to put ourselves at risk.
Crime is a terrifying reality of life, we have to find ways to cope with it. Often, we can look at the victims of crime and find something – anything – unconsciously to disassociate ourselves from the threat. We couldn’t do that with Bosma, we could find no fault.
This is why the great public mobilization – we became Bosma
We are empowered, we didn’t get a happy ending this time, we can next time
Our efforts didn’t end as we hoped, we believed we could find Tim, we had to believe.
Saturday, we had the gut feeling as the day progressed. They had a suspect, but they didn’t have Tim.
There will be missing persons in the future, we will mobilize again and we will reunite a family.
The power of people on the platforms of Web 2.0
This was the first missing person search in Hamilton that involved social media in real-time.
Before, there were missing persons photos and releases posted to the web, but never this kind of community effort.
We won’t go back to the way it was before, we will build on this and be able to help families in the future.
Finding grace in moments like this
We mourn today, but we must live and find something in this tragedy that gives us hope for the future.
The hope I find is seeing how we came together this week unlike we ever had before and that we’ll help someone in the future.
To Tim Bosma’s friends, family, and community – my sympathy at your loss. When you had time to grieve and are ready to speak, just ask us – your community – for support, we’ll be there. Just say the word.
*Postscript: I will livestream this afternoon’s 2:30pm Police investigative briefing. You can find it here. *