Trooper George Baker, born October 1, 1986. The middle child of George and Audette Baker. George has two sisters, Christina and Stephanie.
George graduated from Albany High School in 2005, where he was a student athlete. He excelled in sports and in the classroom. He lettered in both football and baseball during his high school career. George was a starting outfielder during both his junior and senior years and a key player within the team. His ability to bat for average and with power made him a threat at the plate. He was coached by Kevin Darouse throughout his baseball playing days. A late bloomer in football, did not hinder his abilities on the field. George earned a starting spot as a wide receiver for his final two years under the coaching of Lonnie Reed. He earned first team all-district during his senior year at wide receiver, giving much credit to Mark Thompson, his position coach, for the guidance during his short football run.
George was a strong standing member of the Albany community. He participated in many benefits to help the schools and citizens. Everyone in the town of Albany knew George and his smile, and if not known personally, had heard his name.
George was married to Heather Gandolfo on November 22, 2014, after a lifetime of knowing her. They were married for one year before having their only child, a daughter they named Harper Baker.
He began his community service calling with District 11 fire department in 2003, when he was just 16 years old. He ran many calls and helped comfort and save many people during his time with the fire department.
He continued this duty by joining the United States Marine Corps Reserve Unit 3/23 Weapons Company in Baton Rouge in 2005 after graduating from high school. During his 6-year Marine Corps service, he served 1 tour overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007, where his now wife, stayed by his side. He was honorably discharged with a rank of Corporal.
Once George returned from his deployment, he felt the call of becoming a law enforcement officer. This journey began with the Greensburg police department in 2008. He served under chief Tim Brown and was awarded the Officer of the year for Greensburg Police Department in 2013.
He furthered his career in law enforcement by joining the St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s office in 2014. He worked tirelessly serving and protecting the citizens of St. Helena. During the flood of 2016, George was seen by many residents wading through water to conduct rescue missions to save lives in his community. In 2015, George was promoted by Sheriff Nat Williams to a k-9 deputy. He worked closely with his K-9 partner, Gundy, until Gundy was retired when George began his State Police journey.
In 2018, George focused his attention on becoming a Louisiana State Trooper. This was a goal since the first time he put on a uniform. He conquered that task with ease, and graduated from the Louisiana State Police Trooper Academy, Cadet Class 97’, on March 23, 2018. George made it his mission to be the best Trooper he could be. He was caring and comforting when needed but had a stern fist if necessary. He never took his job lightly and worked diligently to continue to excel in what can only be described as a life of service.
He sacrificed many things to do his job. Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, all of which he wished he could have been there for, but his calling was to serve. He did so with grace and poise and never second guessed his choices.
Trooper George Baker was critically injured in the line of duty on May 20, 2020. He succumbed to those injuries on May 24, 2020. He was awarded the life saving award and his number, L-36, retired with the Louisiana State Police. A huge honor. His services held at the Southeastern Louisiana University Center on May 28, 2020. He was given full, in the line of duty death honors including a State Police Helicopter fly over, a riderless horse, a 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, and a final call.
He fulfilled his life’s goals and dreams and continues to help others through organ donation. He lived a beautiful life and will continue to be a role model for generations to come.