If a man walks by me in a mall or airport
holding a child’s hand, I always look
carefully to see if the child is in distress.
At youth sporting events, I approach
individuals I don’t recognize to casually
ascertain which children they are video-taping, and why. Sometimes, things I see
or hear can trigger an intrusive memory.
Fortunately, I’m familiar enough with the
safeguarding practices and I know how
to keep my life in balance.
What do you find most rewarding
about your work?
There is a “high” in catching someone
and knowing he or she will not do it
again. And there is no greater professional joy than being involved in the
rescue of an exploited child.
For example, we are currently involved
in a program with the Texas Rangers
in which we train patrol officers and
state troopers to better identify signs
of exploitation and trafficking during
roadside traffic stops. So far, this project
has resulted in the rescue of more than
Is there anything else readers
I teach a graduate course in investigative
psychology at George Washington
University and other courses at Nova
Southeastern University, and I see a
lot of students who want to be FBI
profilers because they watch shows
like “CSI” or “Criminal Minds.” This
field is incredibly competitive, and it’s
important for students to know that
they won’t become a profiler by earning a
certain degree. Skill sets in interviewing
and interrogation tactics or victim
witness advocacy may be useful. It may
also be helpful to have experience as a
police officer or member of the military.
I recommend volunteering or doing
an internship with the sex offender
population to make sure you understand
what it takes to do this work. ■
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