Sioux Falls, SD
For every case that gets solved, for every person facing charges in court, there is an investigator looking through the evidence, and for cases handled by Lieutenant David McIntire, that evidence is often hard to see.
"Seeing an underage victim that has been manipulated and made to perform acts that most parents couldn't fathom," Lt. McIntire said.
Through his work with the Human Trafficking Task Force, McIntire says that in order to work at their best, each member needs to embrace specific training to handle stress and mental strain.
"All of these individuals that deal with this are human, and sooner or later you will have a case that affects you in a way that others don't," McIntire said.
However, the biggest asset for members of any criminal task force is experience and exposure to the worst.
"I think as a person gets used to doing that and dealing with that, it does become part of your job, in a way. If a person did take every instance they ran across personally, it would take a big toll on them," McIntire said.
McIntire says that experience in more cases doesn't mean that the person changes or lets their work impact their lives. They are able to learn ways to leave work away from home, no matter how disturbing it is.
"I think being in the business as professionals, it's something that we can compartmentalize and realize it's a part of work. We understand that there are some things that go on in the world that wouldn't make sense to the average person," McIntire said.
When investigators take a step back and realize the impact their work has on the community, McIntire says that can be the best way to stay on track.
"I think when you can keep that mental separation without losing your empathy for people, of course, that's just part of the game," McIntire said.
It's not just task force members that deal with these disturbing case details. McIntire says that members of the medical community and also victim advocates need the proper training and experience to work at their absolute best.