My Life: Dave Bentrud [AUDIO]
Longtime Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud joined me on WJON for our "My Life" series. Dave experienced many challenges at a young age with the death of both of his parents before he graduated from high school. Dave's father managed a Gambles Hardware store in Glenwood before his untimely death of a stroke at the age of 44 when Dave was only 9 years old. Dave recalls his father had alcohol problems and wasn't around much. Dave's mother worked at the local bank, Pope County State Bank, as a teller. She developed a seizure disorder when Dave was just 12 years old and passed away when he was 16. Dave says losing both of his parents at a young age was hard. He says it was fortunate that he grew up in a small community with many teachers, coaches and parents of his friends looking out for him. Dave's mother remarried after his father's death. His stepfather, Perry looked after Dave until Perry developed cancer when Bentrud was in college and later died.
Bentrud excelled in sports in high school which included football, basketball and baseball. He was a good enough football player that he was recruited to play Division III football at St. Thomas University. He says his life has been a tail of 2 halves. Dave recalls the first half filled with death and sadness and the 2nd half as a blessing. Bentrud married while in college and worked in the banking industry despite graduating with a criminal justice degree at St. Thomas. Bentrud's first marriage didn't last and when he was 30 decided to move away from working in the financial field and giving police work a try.
Dave was living in Lindstrom, Minnesota when he got his first police job after leaving banking. He applied for jobs all over the state before getting a job opportunity working for St. Cloud PD. He was 32 years old when he started at St. Cloud PD and has been living in this area ever since. Bentrud worked for St. Cloud PD for 16 years before leaving to become the Waite Park Police Chief which is a job he held until May of 2023.
Bentrud has been married for 30 years to his wife, Beth and they have 2 kids. He says his oldest graduated from Bethel and now works for 3M while his youngest is a senior at Bethel.
Bentrud says among his greatest accomplishments was his work in human trafficking in the area which began 10-12 years ago. He says they learned there was a real problem with this in the area. Bentrud explains from where they started to where they are now with a full trafficking task force is satisfying.
If you'd like to listen to my 4-part conversation with Dave Bentrud it is available below.
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