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By Rebecca Matthews
East Palo Alto Today
Posted on April 20, 2010                            

  Photo of Rebecca Matthews                          

 

It was an illuminating night for the retirement dinnerPic of Lt. Rahn Sibley  given for
Lt. Rahn Sibley. It was a night in which the friends and associates of Lt. Sibley could give hima warm and touching goodbye. It was also a time when Sibley could say goodbye in a fun way to some
of the colleagues and community members he worked with during his 36 years on the job. He had served in police departments in Inglewood from 1971-1973; in Montebello from 1975-1976; in Riverbank from 1976-1978; in Piedmont from 1978-1982; in Compton from 1982-1985 and in East Palo Alto from1985-2009. Throughout all his many years of service it was consistently said that Lt. Rahn Sibley was always there for
the people.

Given his community contributions and the high esteem in which he was viewed by many who knew him, it was no surprise that his friends and colleagues gave him a special send off on April 10 at the retirement dinner that was held in his honor at the San Mateo Marriott. The affair started at 6:30 p.m. with a no host bar, later included dinner fun and lots of laughter from 7 p.m to 10 p.m. and ended with dancing your socks off until midnight. Sibley's retirement dinner was hosted by the one and only Dr. Cecil Attiba Babatu Reeves, who came in from Atlanta just to be at what was considered a "most auspicious occasion."

Sibley was described during the evening "as kind and lovely, just doing his duty."  At his dinner, it was said that he had "changed lives in his own way, taking money out of his own pocket to make sure our children had proper care."

Yes, Rahn Sibley was considered a rare asset in the communities in which he served. Sibley was so connected with the East Palo Alto community that he along with Gene Tate kept T-ball going for the little EPA tikes. He helped found the first summer basketball program in EPA; the For Youth By Youth (FYBY) nonprofit in1998. He was a co-founder of EPA's National Night Out observance. In 1997, he founded the Violence Prevention Program in EPA. In 1993 he was instrumental in founding the East O'Keefe Program.
 
Celebrants honoring Sibley at his party came from police departments in Alameda, Menlo Park, and as far away as Los Angeles. Of course, East Palo Alto's Chief of Police Ron Davis and a good portion of Sibley's friends and co-workers from the EPAPD joined in the honors.  Commendations and resolutions came from the offices of Senator Barbara Boxer, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, and San Mateo County District Supervisor Rose Jacob Gibson. A healthy representation from the East Palo Alto community presented speeches in Sibley's honor. Speakers included Mayor David E. Woods, Community Services Director Meda Okelo, Pastor Wayne Jackson, Pastor Paul Bains, Pastor Clifton Bennett, Dr. Faye McNair-Knox of One East Palo Alto, community activist Larry Moody, Tapu Soolefai and EPA's Redevelopment Manager Marie McKenzie.  

When it was all over, acknowledgement and thanks went to the wonderful organizers of the evening's event: Doris Cohen, Charles Hines, Evelia Ilarraz, Rami Khoury, Elizabeth Lam, Rod Norris, Vickie Porter, Dr. Cecil Atiba Babatu Reeves, Remaldo Rhodes, Angel Sanchez, and Melinda Trammell; Donors: the East Palo Alto Police Association, EPA Chief Ron Davis, Andrea Dion, Tracy Frey, Steven Humrich, Rami Khoury, Elizabeth Lam, Renoldo Rhodes, and Angel Sanchez.  For some the party was considered a beautiful graduation to retirement.  

Personally, it is my deepest and truest hope that Lt. Rahn Sibley will continue to honor us with his presence in some capacity.   The people surrounding him will be truly blessed by his presence, wherever he decides to hang his hat.  The creme de la crème was the declaration of April 10, 2010 as Lt. Rahn Sibley Day!



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