By Jennifer Gallus
HOWARD LAKE, MN - Last week, one week earlier than expected, new Howard Lake Police Chief Tracy Vetruba began his duties.
He took his oath of office during Tuesday’s council meeting with his wife and children watching.
Vetruba has been married to his wife Tina for 7 years. Together they have a 4-year-old son named Jadin, and a 2-year-old daughter named Hailey. The family resides in Victor Township.
Vetruba grew up in St. Cloud, and graduated from Apollo High School in 1994.
From there, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He worked for Pillsbury for more than 8 years as a mechanical engineer, and while working for Pillsbury, he also worked as a reserve officer for the City of St. Paul.
Vetruba enjoyed his reserve officer duties so much that he decided to obtain his peace officer degree from the Minneapolis Community and Technical College in 2001.
He worked for the Buffalo Police Department beginning in 2005, and was also a part-time Howard Lake police officer prior to becoming chief.
“My biggest goal is to make connections with people in town, and develop that relationship,” Vetruba said.
He also said he is looking forward to serving the residents of Howard Lake.
In his spare time, Vetruba is looking forward to tending crops on his acreage including winter rye and switch grass.
He said the engineering part of him is looking into biofuel crops.
He also has a private pilot’s license, but admits that he doesn’t get much spare time to use it.