A long-serving member of Elon’s police force received a farewell salute from the town’s municipal leaders this week as he prepares to retire after nearly three decades in the community’s service.
Lyle Anibal, the town’s outgoing assistant police chief, was treated to all-around kudos on Tuesday when he appeared before Elon’s town council for the last time before he formally steps down from his post on August 31. Anibal, who first put on the town’s uniform in 1995, drew a particularly heartfelt commendation from Elon’s police chief Kelly Blackwelder, who reflected on his contribution to the police department during that evening’s proceedings.
“During his tenure, Lyle has trained or mentored just about every officer who has walked through the doors of this department,” Blackwelder said, “He’s one of the last of the old guard…and he will leave a huge hole [in the ranks].”
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Blackwelder noted that, in addition to his duties as a police officer, Anibal has also served as a chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve – an obligation that has led to four active deployments over the years.
The police chief’s high regard for Anibal was later echoed by the town’s elected officials.
“He was always one of the first I could reach out to ask a question,” councilman Quinn Ray asserted as he recalled his own interactions with the departing assistant police.
“He’s a testament to the fact that we’re one of the safest towns in the state,” added councilman Monti Allison.
Anibal graciously accepted the praise that was lavished on him that evening – and he even offered the council some equally kind compliments in return.
“In my 28 years here, you have been supportive of the police department – and of every department in the town,” he said. “You have governed with common sense and made it clear that the community is what is important.”