The names Quincy Taylor, age 29 years, and Justin Eligon, 27, may have been known in their living community as good, bad or indifferent youths, but at some point in our growing, we all were a bit of each, and either merely grew and matured or grew and matured “well.” While growing/maturing, the famous question posed to many children is: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and most times, we are clueless or state a career that we only know of superficially. Truly funny, though, very few of us evolve into what we really wanted to be.
Suffice it to say, Taylor and Eligon got their dream job, but also wanted to be stars with a different luminescence. After weighing the pros and the cons, prioritising, and making hard decisions, they eventually evolved into wearing a star instead becoming police officers #18479 Q Taylor and #20056 J Eligon, within the T&T Police Service, currently attached to the special unit Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and assigned to Team A of the Operations Hope programme.
Seventeen years combined service, and charged with the key responsibility to “deal with crime in areas which are deemed ‘hot spots’ for criminal activities,” which includes, in part, assisting residents within such neighbourhoods organise productive social activities, to strike a balance, other talents must emerge.
It was during a recent video documented by Supt (Ag) Roger D Alexander, of local television, prime-time talk show fame, where Taylor and Eligon revealed to the world their ability to, and long-standing love for singing, in response to questions fielded by Alexander in tapping into their inspiration and helping promote their tune, The Vaccine.
The Vaccine, which can be found on YouTube, “aims to help stop the blame game, encourage positivity, self-awareness and personal responsibility” during these trying times.
In observing the proliferation of breached COVID-19 safety advisories, while on the beat in east Port-of-Spain in April, Taylor felt compelled to revamp his reggae-flavoured 2017-composed tune, tweak it making it relevant to today, and help people correct themselves from an angle other than issuing cautions and arrests.
A performing artiste since school era and at the calypso tent (Calypso Revue) son of veteran calypsonian and former Young King and Calypso Monarch, Pink Panther (Eric Taylor), youth Taylor takes fashion from dad by adding colour to his sobriquet being Blue Panther, while Eligon, “Jus El,” who is also a performing artiste, boasts of always singing in the dorm when one day, Blue Panther was pleasantly surprised by his talent, and encouraged him to partner with him to bring The Vaccine to life.
Undaunted by a popular radio station’s disinterest in the tune though relevant today, claiming “it’s not good at this time; they are focusing on ‘zessing and hiphop’,” in same way the officers enforce laws, they vouch to continue enforcing positivity in the hearts and minds of all.
“We want the song to leave a good impression in hearts and on minds of all nationals and internationals; to do some introspection because at the end of the day, we are all in this together…. We are to check our self; examine our self; look in the mirror and see what we can do differently… to make this place we call sweet T&T a place we once knew as the ‘good old days’,” asserts Taylor.
Eligon states, “We could never complete the journey to solve any crime; solve issues/problems, well, if we continue to point fingers at each other. We have to look at how we do things and stop trying to go against what we (police) are trying to put in place.
“There are still many people who deliberately flout the safety orders, hide and still have limes…doing all the wrong things.”
Taylor and Eligon wish to thank their boss, Snr Supt Subrero, for his understanding, continued guidance and advice; Insp Marcus for the inspiration to release the song, their IATF colleagues for their unwavering support, and, leaving the best for last, Supt (Ag) Alexander, for the television interview and helping promote the song.
While some officers dance or play sport, some sing.