Giving Back

Summit Honors Fallen Somerville Police Det. Matthew Tarentino with 5K Race, Community Day


SUMMIT, NJ - The outpouring of support for the family of police Det. Matthew Tarentino, a resident of Somerville killed in a Route 78 car accident on his way to work May 30, continues in the town he served with a 5K race in September and a Community Day in October.

Registration is open for the 5K race on Sept. 9, which will be run through downtown Summit. Community Day on Oct. 1 will also be held in downtown Summit, a celebration and thank you to the Summit community for its outpouring of support for Tarentino’s widow, Vickie, and their young family.

The couple has three young children, Robbie, 3; Ray, 2, and their sister, Anastasia, one-month-old.

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Tarentino was 29 years old, a lifelong resident of Somerville. He was a 2006 graduate of Immaculata High School. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in communications from Rutgers University in 2011.

 He formerly was a tennis coach at Immaculata. He then attended the Somerset County Police Academy and began his law-enforcement career with the South Bound Brook Police Department. He then worked for the Rutgers University Police Department before joining the Summit Police Department.

Tarentino was assigned to Summit's Community Policing Unit, where he was the DARE Program Officer. He was promoted to the rank of detective posthumously.

Though busy with his responsibilities as a father and police officer, he still ran regularly and was very competitive. His goal was to break 17 minutes in the 5k.

The 5K race, sponsored by Atlantic Health System, begins at 9 a.m. and features a scenic course through downtown Summit, post-race food, a one-mile fun run (or walk) and prizes for top overall finishers and top finishers in 5-year age groups.

Event details and registration information are available on the city website:

Community Day Oct. 1 begins with a parade at 1 p.m. from the Bouras Building at 25 Deforest Ave. to the Village Green on Broad Street and will feature first responders, community groups and local organizations. Participation in the parade is open to anyone that would like to march.

Following the parade, the family-friendly community event on the Village Green will feature a free concert, entertainment for children, food trucks, free hot dogs, bounce houses, a silent auction and more. 

“We would like to thank our Summit community for its incredible response following the death of Detective Matthew Tarentino,” said Police Chief Robert Weck. “We look forward to celebrating Matthew’s life and legacy on October 1, including how each one of us has the ability to make a difference every day treating others with kindness and respect.”

The rain date for the event is Sunday, Oct. 8.

Visit or contact the Summit Police Department at 908-277-9472 for more information. To become an event sponsor, contact David Guida from the Summit Department of Community Programs at 908-277-2932.

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