TRENTON, NJ - The Nutley Police Department will receive a grant award for the township's 'Police and Lunch in Schools' (PALS) program. The award is being given in honor of Summit NJ Detective Matthew L. Tarentino.
In June, Attorney General Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced the new program offering competitive grants of up to $10,000 per department for police to fund innovative community policing initiatives in honor of Detective Tarentino, who tragically lost his life in a motor vehicle accident on May 30.
Nutley is one of 28 communities to receive an award in the first round of grants. More than 130 communities applied for the grants.
“The overwhelming response we received from law enforcement for this new program is a tribute to Detective Tarentino and a testament to the strong commitment of New Jersey officers to community policing,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Detective Tarentino had a tremendous passion for public service and embraced the community he served in a remarkable way. The initiatives we are funding will honor his extraordinary spirit and keep that spirit alive across our state.”
“Every year we invite police departments to apply for a range of grant programs, but I can’t recall ever being inundated with applications like we were for this program honoring Detective Tarentino,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Officers in New Jersey clearly understand that everybody wins when they engage in a personal way with residents and gain their confidence and trust.”
In today's award announcement, Attorney General Porrino also announced that a second round of grant funding to honor Detective Tarentino will be offered later this year, for which departments not funded in this round may re-apply.
Community policing fosters relationships of collaboration, trust, and understanding between law enforcement agencies and their communities. Law enforcement agencies acting alone can rarely solve the difficult public safety problems facing communities in today’s world. Only with meaningful public support and engagement can law enforcement agencies begin to confront these complex issues and effectively protect and serve the public.
Funding under the grant program is allocated to help pay for non-enforcement related community engagement activities and programs. The following are just a few examples of initiatives being funded with the 28 grant awards.