Former police chief is being properly retrained


September 23, 2023

Amy Brateng and Ward Anderson

by Jeff Olsen

Ward Anderson, the long-time Roseau Police Chief, retired last year.

He wasn't that old at age 54.

Since then, he's frequently been on diaper duty, which can be as challenging as handcuffing a happy-go-lucky drunk who just keeps stumbling around.

"Hold still!" he probably said to a tipsy drunk.

With babies, he wasn't cuffing them.

He was just trying to wipe them clean and put on a Pampers.

On Monday, shortly after lunch, Mr. Anderson was tracked down at his newest gig - learning to drive a combine.

He was sitting in the combine a few minutes before being trained in by Amy Brateng, who hadn’t arrived yet.

You should have stayed at your old desk job.

He laughed.

"I've been chomping corn over by the Lake Bronson-Halma area. I was driving the truck and hauling it to the farm yard and then they piled it and packed it."

On Monday, he would spend the afternoon and maybe the evening combining soy beans for South 89 Farms.

It's a big operation.

Were you a farm boy?

"No, I wasn't. I grew up in a cafe-bowling alley."

Really! What were the names of the cafe and bowling alley?

"The cafe was called the Coffee Cup Cafe and the bowling alley was Community Lanes in Lake Bronson," he said, adding that his late dad, Odeen, owned both businesses.

"My mom, Dorothy, is still living."

He laughed when it noted that he's been temporarily relieved from diaper duty.

"That's right."

He and his wife, DeAnn, have two grandkids - Colt (4) and Kinsley (1), their daughter Morgan's kids.

"Her husband is Scott."

Wouldn't it be nice if his last name is Freeman? Your daughter would be Morgan Freeman."

He laughed heartily.

"Their last name is Rhodes."

And then it was time to crank up that combine.

Work long hours?

"I'm part-time so I usually start around noon, and it depends on the weather how long we work into the evening."

Then, he had to terminate the cellphone conversation.

"Hey, I gotta go! Bye."

Always, he came running whenever there was trouble or an emergency in Roseau.

Amy Brateng, who farms with her husband Tony, had climbed up into the combine, and it was time to show the son of a former pinsetter how to combine the beans.

Last Laugh

This past spring, Ward worked for South 89 Seeds.

“Amy does the seed and Tony does the farm. I was hauling seed and fertilizer, and people would ask, ‘How do I like this job?’ And I said, ‘Well, it’s great. Everybody is now happy to see me when I pull up’ compared to what it used to be.”

He chuckled.


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