Missoula detective helps young officers spot human trafficking - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Missoula detective helps young officers spot human trafficking

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(MTN News Photo) (MTN News Photo)

Missoula Police Detective Guy Baker's decorated career in law enforcement includes training other officers on how to detect signs of one of the country's most troubling crimes.

"I am a third-generation law enforcement officer," Baker said. "There's other members of our family that are in law enforcement as well and so this is something that has been in our family for multiple generations. It's been a career path that has a lot of pride to it and I have three sons. I'd be very happy if one of more of them chose to go into law enforcement."

Baker has worked for the Missoula Police Department for 27 years, including 17 as a detective and the last seven working for the FBI's Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force.

Along with all that, Baker teaches several courses throughout the year to help officers detect signs of human trafficking, which contrary to popular belief, is very much alive not only in Missoula, but throughout the state.

Baker says awareness is key for young officers.

"Every single class I do, there's officers that once they learn the indicators, they realize that there's been a traffic stop, or a contact at a motel, or during a disturbance or suspicious activity in their past that they were dealing with a sex trafficking victim and they just didn't recognize that fact," Baker said.

Baker says the work he does with sex trafficking victims is the most challenging but also the most rewarding.

"I think it's a career that is more challenging today than maybe it has been but it's well worth it and you get such satisfaction out of helping people because the people I deal with, sometimes are in very bad situations, sometimes the worst situation they've ever been in. And being able to help them, out of that or through that, is very rewarding," Baker said.

Baker's father retired from the Missoula Police after 31 years of service, while his grandpa served 34 for the Montana Highway Patrol.

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