Investigator Runde named next Brainerd deputy police chief

Tony Runde is a 15-year veteran of the Brainerd Police Department.

Brainerd Police.
Dispatch file photo

BRAINERD — Brainerd Police Investigator Tony Runde will move up to deputy police chief in June.

Runde’s promotion follows the retirement of Police Chief Mike Bestul, who will be replaced June 3 with current Deputy Chief John Davis beginning.

Brainerd City Council members approved Runde’s promotion to deputy chief during their meeting Monday, April 17.

Born and raised in Crosby, Runde started his career in Crosby in 2004 and will mark 15 years with the Brainerd Police Department in May. He was one of six internal applicants for the deputy chief job, deciding it was time to move into a more formal leadership role in the department.

“The current leadership that we have in this department is excellent,” Runde said during a phone interview after the meeting. “The support that our officers, investigators, records staff, community service officers have had has just been tremendous, and it really makes it a great place to work.”


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Runde has experience as a patrol officer before becoming an investigator four years ago.

“I’m just very excited for the opportunity and the challenge of the leadership to be a part of the leadership team and just want to continue to help move our department in the right direction,” he said.

In other business April 17, the council:

Accepted donations to the city: $173 from an anonymous donor for the Gregory Park skating party; $600 from Brainerd Rotary Foundation for the Easter egg hunt; $275 from Sibbert Drywall LLC for the field banner program; $99.21 from an anonymous donor for the Gregory Park skating party; candy from First Western Bank & Trust for the Easter egg hunt; chili, spoons, bowls and napkins from Wendy’s for the Gregory Park skating party.

Approved the hiring of temporary summer employees: Laura Bunde, police intern, $16 per hour; Blake Collins, street laborer, $15 per hour; Loren Decker, street laborer, $14 per hour; Cole Kubesh, parks maintenance, $16 per hour; Stella Marohn, concession stand worker, $15 per hour; Jeremy Werhan and Timothy Boeder, adult softball umpires, $32 per game.

Approved an event application for the Shep’s on 6th Elbow Convention Aug. 25-26 in the alley adjacent to Shep’s.

Approved easements with Brainerd Public Schools for the Safe Routes to School project to happen this year at Harrison Elementary School. Council members also authorized staff to solicit bids for the project beginning May 5.

Authorized the fire department to apply for a Sourcewell Community Impact grant for a public safety personnel wellness project. The $50,000 from the grant would be used to offer mental health check-ins and obtain additional physical fitness equipment for both the fire and police departments.


Accepted the retirement of Marvin Bush, a street maintenance III worker, effective May 6.

Authorized the use of $28,701 of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds for downtown holiday lights. Brainerd Public Utilities will cover $27,800 for the lights.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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