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CHANGE OF THE GUARD: City gives Officer Vavrovsky sendoff party

By Staff | Aug 30, 2019

Sue Sitter/PCT Rugby Chief of Police John Rose (center) and Rugby Mayor Sue Steinke (left) present Officer Gretel Vavrovsky with a plaque for her five years of service with the department. 

City of Rugby employees said their goodbyes to a familiar face in the local law enforcement community with cake and blue lemonade last Thursday at City Hall.

Officer Gretel Vavrovsky is leaving the Rugby Police Department to begin another phase in her career at the United States Port of Entry in Pembina, North Dakota. Vavrovsky will work as an agent with United States Customs there.

Vavrovsky visited with employees at City Hall and reflected on her five years of service with the department. Her mom, who was born in Rugby, was a special guest.

“I didn’t grow up in Rugby; I grew up in Grafton,” Vavrovsky told the Tribune. “I don’t have any family here now.” Vavrovsky said her mother’s family moved out of the area when her mother was a child.

However, Vavrovsky said she still has an emotional attachment to Rugby. “I loved (working in Rugby). I thought it was a perfect community for me. I wanted to work in a small community to get to know everyone, and I think I did that successfully.”

Vavrovsky came to Rugby right after graduating from the police academy at Lake Region State College.

“I graduated from the police academy in 2014 in the summer,” she said. “It’s through Devils Lake, but I went in Grand Forks.”

Although Vavrovsky will move closer to where she grew up, she said she would “definitely miss (Rugby) a lot. I’m going to stay living (in Rugby) part time, going back and forth (to Pembina),” she indicated. “I’ll be around here.”

Vavrovsky said she looks forward to “more specialized work” at the port of entry.

Rugby PD Chief John Rose said he felt confident Vavrovsky would do well in her new job. “I have high expectations for her,” he said.

Rose said of Vavrovsky’s departure, “It’ll be a loss for the department. I wish her luck moving on. (Working for the US Customs Service) will be a big advancement for her.”

Rose said Officer Duane Gunville has been hired to replace Vavrovsky. He began his work with the department August 19.

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