Mr Baines led a forensic victim identification team that flew into Bali in October 2002 after terrorists bombed two clubs at Kuta, killing 202 people, including 88 Australians.
His NSW team was deployed with federal and state police contingents in the Australian effort to help Indonesian police find the bombers, identify the victims and return bodies to their families.
Mr Baines oversaw body identification amid ongoing terror threats and the desire of families to have the remains of their loved ones returned home quickly.
On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the bombings, he recalls that Bali was his first overseas holiday destination and for Australians back then it represented the “beauty and innocence” of a tropical Asian island.
For Mr Baines, now a leadership consultant after spending 22 years with the NSW force, that image was shattered by the bombings.
“I have a very clear recollection of standing outside the bomb site and looking at the Sari Club and that innocence being gone and feeling exposed almost as an Australian.
“Previously you had the feeling that you were welcomed into the country. That was certainly not the case when I was there,” he told AAP on Thursday.
He said that when Australian police personnel were not working, they were locked down in a hotel guarded by the Indonesian military and faced ongoing bomb threats.
Mr Baines said the identification of the bodies was not complex forensic science but the difficulties arose with the number of bodies and the much higher number of people reported missing.
Those reports had to be investigated to eliminate people as victims, he said.
Mr Baines said friendships forged between state and federal police in Bali stood Australian teams in good stead when teams went to Thailand after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and in more recent deployments.