Police & Fire

New Jersey AG Porrino Establishes Community Policing Grant in Name of Summit Detective Matthew Tarentino

A familiar sight - Officer Tarentino engaging children in the schools and in the community at large. Credits: facebook.com/summitpd/photos

TRENTON, NJ  – New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino has established the “Detective Matthew L. Tarentino Community Policing Grant Program,” which will provide grants to police departments for innovative programs aimed at fostering strong police-community relations. The program is named in honor of Detective Tarentino, a Summit police officer who epitomized the goals of community policing.

To commemorate Detective Tarentino’s badge #121, the Attorney General is making $121,000 in state forfeiture funds available. Attorney General Porrino urged police departments to apply for individual awards of up to $10,000 and honor the fallen officer through their community policing efforts.

Detective Tarentino demonstrated a deep commitment to community outreach, particularly the D.A.R.E. program, helping the Summit Police Department to become a 2017 recipient of the Attorney General’s Outstanding Community Policing Award last month. Tarentino was promoted to Detective posthumously after he tragically lost his life in a motor vehicle accident on May 30. 

Sign Up for E-News

“Detective Tarentino was respected and beloved in his community because he embodied all of the best qualities of a police officer and role model: selflessness, compassion for others, and an unshakeable dedication and enthusiasm for his calling,” said Porrino. “I had the privilege of meeting Matthew and hearing him speak last month when we honored him and recognized his department for their outstanding community policing efforts. Because he was a visionary in this area, it is only fitting that we hold Matthew up as a model of community policing and public service.”

“We urge police departments across New Jersey to seek this funding and bring us their innovative ideas for community policing,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “In the end, the hallmark of a strong police force is mutual respect and trust between its officers and those they serve.” 

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. 

To aid police departments that wish to enhance and improve relationships with their communities, the Attorney General’s Office is offering this grant program to fund multiple community policing projects across the state that will promote positive interactions between police and community members. 

The Attorney General’s Office will provide approved applicant police departments with up to $10,000 in state criminal forfeiture funds to support development and deployment of community policing programs, activities and events. The Attorney General’s Office is responsible for program administration and will provide technical assistance to applicants during application development and program implementation. 

Eligible applicants include state, county and municipal police departments in New Jersey, sheriff’s offices, and college campus police departments. Applicants may propose to enhance or expand an already existing activity or program, or develop a new initiative. 

Application forms are posted on the Attorney General’s website -- located at njpublicsafety.com -- as well as at nj.gov/oag/grants.htm.

The deadline for applications is July 10, 2017. All awards must be spent during the five-month period from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, 2017. 

Funding under this Community Policing Grant will be used to help pay for non-enforcement related community engagement activities and programs, such as, but not limited to:

  • Community picnics, barbecues, or concerts; 
  • Educational public meetings, forums, or workshops; 
  • Faith-based partnership events; 
  • Cultural or leadership programs; 
  • Athletic leagues or tournaments; 
  • Youth engagement and empowerment activities; 
  • Individual officer/youth partnerships; 
  • Walks, 5Ks, bicycle races; or
  • Food drives.

Some recent innovative approaches to community policing by local New Jersey law enforcement agencies include police officers reading with kindergarten students, engaging with families to steer kids away from gang recruitment, and spending full days with youth to experience field trips, cultural programs and community events together. Another approach features an agency’s “ride along program” for clergy patrol members who join police officers in newly painted police cruisers to visit local business owners and residents at their homes, schools and hospitals. Additional community outreach programs include movie nights with police, pop-up barbecues, ice cream with a cop, pizza with a cop, coffee with a cop, shop with a cop, basketball with teens, and a swim meet for charity. 

In honoring Detective Tarentino, Attorney General Porrino also thanked the members of the Summit Police Department and Chief Robert K. Weck for their strength and leadership during this very difficult time, and for their exemplary community policing initiatives, which were recognized last month at the Attorney General’s Outstanding Community Policing Awards Ceremony. Detective Tarentino was instrumental in Summit’s very successful community policing efforts.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


East Brunswick: I Don't Wanna Close Up, I'm a Toys-R-Us Kid

March 16, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick used to be the home of Meyer's toy store, an almost idyllic wonderland of all sorts of Barbies, parts for swimming pools, and clanging model trains until it closed in 2002.  Kay-Bee toy store was a popular stop at the Brunswick Square Mall until 2009, with a salesperson often displaying the newest gadget outside its door, causing eager kids ...


Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more
Piscataway, NJ – Manuela Cruz, 94, born July 17, 1923, passed away peacefully on March 8, ...
Read more

Middlesex County Young Republicans Host "Road to Victory" Event at the Green Turtle

March 21, 2018

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Middlesex County Young Republican Chairman John Steiner would like to announce the Middlesex County Young Republicans "Road to Victory" Reception, which will take place on March 22 at the Green Turtle in North Brunswick from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.

This event will serve as the official launch for the 2018 campaign season for the Middlesex ...

ECSNJ Partnership with Rutgers Behavioral Health Helps Students Manage Life’s Challenges

PISCATAWAY, NJ – A collaboration with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care is providing more behavioral and emotional support for students attending two Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ) schools.

Appearing on ESCNJ’s Better Together podcast, Assistant Superintendent Gary Molenaar said Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care “is a recognized ...

Free Program for People with Diabetes Offered in Piscataway

Are you a person with Medicare living with diabetes or know someone who is? Take control of your health through a free and fun six-week workshop series.

Meet others going through similar experiences and learn about diabetes and its risks, preventing complications, healthy eating, exercise, medication management, dealing with stress and depression, action planning, and much more. Graduates from ...

NCAA Tournament: Heilmann and DelVecchio Both Secure All-American Honors; Suriano Becomes Rutgers' First-Ever Finalist

CLEVELAND, OH -The senior class of South Plainfield High School’s “Murderer’s Row”, the 2013 team that earned a group title, two individual state titles, and produced five state placewinners, knows a thing or two about making wrestling history. The 2018 NCAA wrestling tournament marks the last time two standouts from 2013 team, Troy Heilmann and Scott DelVecchio, will ...

Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity Basketball News

The Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity basketball team concluded a very successful season by capturing two championships over the weekend.  The Storm continued the basketball program’s winning ways when the team captured the school’s fourth consecutive Diocese of Metuchen CYM Varsity White Division Championship on its home court on Saturday evening.  The team then secured the ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, March 24, 11:00 AM

Piscataway Little League Fields, Piscataway

Annual Piscataway Easter Egg Hunt

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 25, 8:00 AM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

Palm Sunday

Religions And Spirituality

Sun, March 25, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Springfield Fire Department Delivers Baby on West I-78

March 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - On March 20, 2018 at 8:14 a.m. the Springfield Fire Department was dispatched to Route 78 Westbound near milepost 50.2 for a report of a woman in labor on the side of the road.  

Captain Mastroeni (Unit 2) & Chief Palumbo (Unit 1) were the first units to arrive on scene, and quickly recognized that the woman would be unable to make it to the hospital in time for ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...