Police & Fire

Obituary for Matthew Tarentino, 29; Somerville Resident Promoted Posthumously to Detective by Summit Police Department

Det. Matthew Tarentino was the DARE officer for the Summit Police Department and spent much of his time visiting schools and working with children on the dangers of drug abuse. Credits: Courtesy Summit Police
Det. Matthew Tarentino of the Summit Police Department grew up and lived in Somerville. Credits: Courtesy Summit Police
Det. Matthew Tarentino was the DARE officer for the Summit Police Department and spent much of his time visiting schools and working with children on the dangers of drug abuse. Credits: Courtesy Summit Police
Det. Matthew Tarentino, holding the New Jersey state flag, second from right, with the Summit Police Department Honor Guard. Credits: Courtesy Summit Police
Det. Matthew Tarentino was the DARE officer for the Summit Police Department and spent much of his time visiting schools and educating students on the dangers of drug abuse. Credits: Courtesy Summit Police

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Officer Matthew Lawrence Tarentino entered into eternal rest on the early morning of May 30, 2017. Promoted to Detective posthumously, Detective Matthew L. Tarentino was husband to Victoria Tarentino, his beloved bride of 5 1/2 years; father to Robert Damien (3), Raymond Peter (2) and a precious baby still in the womb (due this Summer). 

Matthew was born on Feb. 24, 1988 in Somerville, New Jersey. He attended Immaculate Conception School (‘02), Immaculata High School (‘06), and was a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Church his whole life.

Following High School he attended The Catholic University of America, but traveled back to NJ to complete his Bachelors of Art degree in Communication, Summa Cum Laude, from Rutgers University.

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In 2011, he entered the Somerset County Police Academy, graduated, and began his tenure in public service with the South Bound Brook Police Department. He went on to work for the police department of his alma mater, Rutgers University Police Department, and Matthew ultimately found his home with the Summit Police Department.

Described by Summit Police Chief Robert Weck, “This loss has greatly affected not only our law enforcement community and the citizens of the city of Summit, but people far and wide. Matthew Tarentino epitomized what a law enforcement officer should be: a respected, trusted colleague with unshakeable dedication and enthusiasm for his calling. He was the face of the department’s community policing unit and understood the importance of building relationships within Summit. During his short time with us, Matt created a lasting imprint on our department and the city. While Officer Matthew Tarentino may be gone, he will never be forgotten.”

Matthew could often be seen running the streets of Somerville, training for his next big race, oftentimes pausing his workouts to greet neighbors and business owners. He was the former tennis coach at Immaculata High School, and served as the president of Immaculate Conception School's Advisory Council.

Matthew’s character was unparalleled in today's age, as he held himself to the highest standard and would not waiver in times of adversity. Matthew served many communities: his work, his Church, and his family. Above all, his devotion to God is what guided his path. A shining example of what a Godly man should be, Matthew’s faith made him a loyal and compassionate friend; supportive and enthusiastic brother and son; but most importantly, it made him a tenderly devoted, and most treasured husband and father.

Though Matthew and Victoria, Matt and Vickie as those closest know them, spent a lifetime just a few streets and one school grade apart through both ICS and IHS, their love did not blossom until the Spring of 2008. They were married in 2011 and soon after grew their young family. The innocence and purest love and admiration Matt’s sons have for him certainly gives hope for brighter days.

Robbie, Ray, and their third little one on the way are undeniably Matt’s greatest legacy. There was more love and more life lived in Matt and Vickie’s nearly six years of marriage than many will ever feel. The life they created together is and forever will be beautiful and awe-inspiring.

Matthew is survived by his beloved wife Victoria; 2 sons, Robert Damien (3) and Raymond Peter (2) and a precious life due early August; his brother, Mark and mother Lillian; his father- and mother-in-law, Timothy and Cecilia Cullen; his sisters- and brothers-in-law, Catherine (Peter), Monica (Jason), Timothy, and Olivia (Thomas); his adoring niece and nephews, Sophia, Jason, Owen, and Joseph; and many loving aunts, uncles, and cousins. Matthew was predeceased by his father, Michael Tarentino, and grandparents Barbara and Sidney Spiegel, and Connie and Helen Tarentino. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to this tremendous fund, graciously set up by the Summit PAL, to support and honor Matt's legacy, his precious wife and children.


Visiting hours for Detective Matthew Tarentino will be held on Sunday, June 4, from 4-8 p.m. at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, 35 Mountain Ave. in Somerville, New Jersey. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the same location on Monday, June 5 at 10 a.m.  Following the Mass, a graveside service will be held at Resurrection Cemetery on 899 East Lincoln Ave. in Piscataway, NJ.

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