Gulbranson is new Osakis police chiefOPD has ‘open door’ policy, expect more presence at community events
By: Amy Chaffins, The Osakis Review
The new Osakis Police Chief is a familiar face in the community.
Chad Gulbranson, a 12-year-veteran of the Osakis Police Department (OPD), officially became Osakis’ chief law enforcement officer on April 29. He was hired for the job after Mark Gilson announced his retirement earlier this year.
Several people applied for the job and Gulbranson was last to be interviewed.
“I was at home pacing and they called me about an hour after the interview ended to tell me I got the job. I was really excited and relieved,” he said.
During his first week as chief, Gulbranson said he’ll work on getting settled in and meet with his officers – Calvin Uhl, Sam Larson, John Holm and Aaron Stern.
The department will redistribute some duties and talk about the future.
The chief said one of the first big changes internally will be transitioning to a paperless recordkeeping system. It’s a project that’s been in the works for a while.
Gulbranson said the community likely won’t see any big, sweeping changes at the police department.
However, he said, there is a new squad car on the way – a 2013 Ford Taurus should be ready to hit the streets in about two weeks, once it’s outfitted with equipment and decals. The new squad was included in Gilson’s budget and capital purchase plan.
Gulbranson said the community can also expect an “open door” policy and anyone is welcome to stop by his office to discuss their concerns with him.
He also said residents can expect to see the police department involved in more community events.
There have been several drug busts in the Osakis area over the last six months and Gulbranson said keeping drugs out of the community will be one of the department’s top priorities, as well.
Gulbranson is originally from Alexandria. He was first hired to work part-time for the OPD in 2000 and he became a full-time officer in 2001.
He went to Alexandria Technical College for law enforcement and aquaculture. He earned an associate degree in law enforcement, aquaculture and a bachelor degree in criminal justice from St. Leo University, an online school.
“I originally wanted to be a game warden, but after I had some life experience, I changed courses a bit and I steered toward law enforcement. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Gulbranson said.
Gulbranson and his wife, Sherry, have been married 12 years and they have twin boys, Aidan and Connor, 7.
He’s also a member of the Osakis VFW.
He said working with kids and meeting people are the best part of the job – those are aspects he said he’ll focus on as police chief.
Gulbranson also served 12 years in the National Guard and was deployed to Iraq from 2005 to 2007.**