The new face of the Tea Police knows his new office is pretty bare.
"Yeah, I think it might need some freshening up, yeah," Chief of Tea Police Department Clark Baker said.
Though the décor may not have much to offer, the same cannot be said about Baker, who brings with him decades of experience working on police cases.
"One of them I went to Hobart, Indiana. On the way back, the plane tried to crash with the murderer on board. That was an interesting trip," Baker said, laughing.
Brady Mallory: Maybe at the time it was a little different feeling?
Baker: Oh, God yes!
On Monday, Baker stepped into his new role as Chief of Police. His predecessor, Brian Ketterhagen, resigned in November amid allegations of withholding evidence. Ketterhagen was named in a lawsuit by a Wyoming man who was wrongfully convicted of murder in that state. Officer James Klimple also resigned at the same time. Baker, the third police chief in three years, now hopes to add stability to the department after four months of uncertainty.
"I just see it as a challenge," Baker said.
When it comes to the department's past, Baker does not have much to say. Moving forward, he wants to build relationships with other agencies, as he steps back into police work exactly three years from when he retired. He never completely stepped away from law enforcement and spent the last three years working part time for the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office.
"Right now, I'm having fun. I enjoyed working for the sheriff's office. They treated me well," Baker said.
The Tea City Council approved hiring Baker in February. The new chief said someone who lives in Tea said he should consider heading the department. His acceptance signifies that, though the job has changed over the years, his reason for putting on the badge has not.
"The helping people part. I think that was straight out of college and I thought that would be a good career field. It's a career field I've always wanted to be in," Baker said.