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Aug 29, 2013

Mahogany Police cadets get a donation of musical equipment…

The Mahogany Cadets received a set of drums this morning thanks to the efforts of musician and Minister Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington. These cadets operate out of the Mahogany Police Sub-Precinct number two, and the donation will take them one step closer to the establishment of a full-fledged cadet band. The entire cadet program is a successful facet of community policing. It teaches these youths disciplines and skills, which will hopefully lead them away from a life on the streets and make them productive citizens. Music is a big part of that program, and today Mike Rudon found out that the donation of band equipment will be put to good use. Here’s the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Senior members of the Police Department, proud officers from the Mahogany Sub-precinct and disciplined members of the Mahogany Cadets gathered today under one tent to receive a valuable donation – valuable not so much for its cost but for what it will do for these kids. Sedi Elrington has been playing music since he was twelve, and knows that music can be a road to a better life financially.

 

Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Donated Music Equipment

“We came from a very large family…I come from a large family. We have a family of fourteen children…my father had fourteen children and he was only a sanitary inspector. So money was always short in our family. My mother had to be a magician to mind us on the salary that my father got. But my father was a musician and during the Christmas time he would play music every night. And it was from the music that he played that we got the money to celebrate Christmas. So it was from the music that he played and the money that he earned that we bought the cake and the lemonade and the gifts for Christmas. So I started playing music when I was twelve years old. And from the money that I made from playing music…cause we used to play for the celebrations in the tenth. And from the money that I made from playing music I was able to buy my school uniform, pants and shirt.”

 

That is a valid reason to take up music, but for the police officers and cadets of the Mahogany sub-precinct, it can be much more – a positive way forward for kids who need positive reinforcement each and every day. Brett Hamilton is the leader of these cadets, a role model and a mentor.

 

Brett Hamilton

Brett Hamilton, O.C., Mahogany Sub-Precinct #2

“It was easy for me to help these kids in this community. And then I’m a father. And so it is nice. The kids from the Martin’s here are phenomenal…they are phenomenal kids. Each of them has their own ways of thinking and it is up to us, not only the Police, but we the community must help these kids and give them a positive way forward so they can be productive citizens.”

 

And that’s where the music will play a vital role.

 

Brett Hamilton

“I believe that if you have music and you can play an instrument you can know how to deal with other things in your life…when it comes to stress and other things. So through music you can do all kinds of learning, so later on in life if they cannot do anything or don’t have a job, they can play music and make some kind of money in the longer run.”

 

Mark Jenkins

Mark Jenkins, Cadet Instructor

“The day to day training…to me it comes very naturally. I used to be a performer. I used to be an entertainer. I used to dance with the Slamming Bodies. So the love for the music and the love for the kids…that’s like child’s play. So when I interact with the kids it’s just like I’m interacting with my kids home. I love all of them. Kids…I love all of them, so it’s just natural.”

 

Whether through music, mentoring or teaching life skills…the impact of the cadet program is one which is deeply scored in the lives of youths of the community.

 

Trevaun Chee

Trevaun Chee, Assisting with Cadets

“Now that they’re back together I just came around and they asked for assistance from me and I just assist them with the drums and different things, so I help them beat the drums and get some marches because they want to go out for the 21st. I’ll be here…I’ll take time off from my work or whatever and I’ll come and help them and give back to my community because they have made me who I am right now. I could have been on the streets, maybe dead or in jail so I thank the Police for everything that they’ve done and I want to give back to them. So I’ll be here twenty-four hours if I have to…to come and beat.”

 

The lower flat of a building next door to the Police Sub-precinct is being prepared so that the cadets can have band practice. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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