Police & Fire

NJ Attorney General Honors Fallen Police Officer from Somerville with Community Grant Program

2dfcc2bdd64b73de4106_sompixcopmatthewtarentino.JPG
Summit Police Det. Matthew Tarentino, a Somerville resident, was killed in a three-car collision on Route 78 May 30. Credits: Courtesy Summit Police
10b996b5eabe8f90d31f_sompixtarentino1.jpg
Summit police officer Matthew Tarentino was a familiar site in Summit Schools, visiting classrooms to help students cope with problems like drug abuse, gangs, bullying and social media. Credits: Courtesy Summit Police
ab374e940a140f3d0c5f_sompixtarentino3.jpg
Summit police officer Matthew Tarentino was a familiar site in Summit Schools, visiting classrooms to help students cope with problems like drug abuse, gangs, bullying and social media. Credits: Courtesy Summit Police
2dfcc2bdd64b73de4106_sompixcopmatthewtarentino.JPG

TRENTON, NJ – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino has announced creation of the “Detective Matthew L. Tarentino Community Policing Grant Program,” to provide grants to police departments for innovative programs aimed at fostering strong police-community relations.

The program is named in honor of Tarentino, a Somerville resident and Summit police officer who epitomized the goals of community policing.

Tarentino, who graduated from Immaculata High School in 2006, was killed in a three-car collision on Route 78 in Bernards Township on May 30. He was 29.

Sign Up for E-News

To commemorate Detective Tarentino’s Police Badge No. 121, the Attorney General is making $121,000 in state forfeiture funds available to New Jersey police departments for use in community outreach programs. Departments can apply for individual awards of up to $10,000 to honor the fallen officer through their community policing efforts, according to Porrino.

Tarentino demonstrated a deep commitment to community outreach, particularly the D.A.R.E. program, which is taught to students K-12 by police officers. Drug Abuse Resistance Education seeks to prevent use of drugs, membership in gangs, violent behavior,bullying, internet safety, and other high risk circumstances students encounter.

A few weeks before his death, Tarentino and the Summit Police Department were awarded the Attorney General’s Outstanding Community Policing Award for their successful D.A.R.E. program.

 “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,” Porrino said.

Tarentino was instrumental in Summit’s successful community policing efforts.

“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.”

Tarentino had also recently successfully completed training to become a certified D.A.R.E. instructor with 20 other law enforcement personnel during a week-long program held at the Somerville Elks building in Bridgewater.

“We urge police departments across New Jersey to seek this funding and bring us their innovative ideas for community policing,” said Elie Honig, director 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 websitewww.njpublicsafety.com  at the following link:http://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, according to Porrino.

Another approach features an agency’s “ride along program” for clergy 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 in the days following the loss of Tarentino, who is survived by his widow, Vickie, and two sons, Robbie, 3 and Ray, 2. The couple is expecting their third child in August.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Union

Construction Update on Vauxhall Ave. Bridge, Chestnut St. Bridge and Morris Avenue Work

June 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – A CodeRed alert about road construction, the resulting congestion, and what can be expected, was sent to residents Tuesday morning.

The message said the work on these state roads is being performed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.  The message outlined the following work scheduled for June and July:

The Vauxhall Bridge over Route 22.  Work ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 6/18

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Adult Coloring, 1:15 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Read to Waldi, 4:15 p.m., Union Public Library
Connect, Explore & Discover Digital Resources, 7:00 p.m., Union Public Library

Tuesday, ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 6/11

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Adult Prize Bingo, 1:15 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Career Coach, 6:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Donuts with Your Dude,6:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library

Tuesday, 6/12

Senior Citizens ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_373282f5e1d3b5232b81_mini_magick20180620-4022-12sykna

Fri, June 22, 12:00 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, Union

Drop in Craft Friday

Carousel_image_d44bfd734599e1c3061a_njso_and_summer_arts_festival_flyer

Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Mountainside

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Concert Series: ...

Carousel_image_415aacf78687dcb7fab9_rock_painting

Mon, June 25, 1:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Let's Create Rock Art

Carousel_image_ec9461df1cd0015cf41f_mini_magick20180620-4048-snbre5

Mon, June 25, 3:30 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Construction Zone

Taylor Heggins Named to Spring 2018 Dean's List at American International College

June 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, MA - Taylor Heggins, of Union, has been named to the Spring 2018 Dean's List at American International College (AIC) in Springfield, MA. Dean's List students are full-time students with a grade point average between 3.3 and 4.0.Heggins is majoring in Health Science at AIC.

Founded in 1885, American International College (AIC) is a private, co-educational, doctoral granting ...

Union Residents Make Dean's List at the University of Delaware

NEWARK, DE - Students from Union have been named to the University of Delaware Dean's List for the Spring 2018 semester:

Natalie Caggiano 

Julia Hayes 

Steven Medina 

Maria Rocha 

To meet eligibility requirements for the Dean's List, a student must be enrolled full-time and earn a GPA of 3.33 or above (on a 4.0 scale) for the semester.

 

Kayla Douberley Graduates Elmira College

ELMIRA, NY - Kayla Douberley of Union was among the graduates celebrated at the 160th Elmira College Commencement on Saturday, June 2. The exercises, held at the Murray Athletic Center, Pine Valley, included 270 undergraduate and 27 graduate students.

Members of the 2018 Elmira College graduating class were recognized with multiple honors and prizes, including induction into Phi Beta Kappa, ...

Video: Union County Celebrates Pride Month with CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic

June 18, 2018

RAHWAY, NJ - Parents, children, friends, and all family members came out on Saturday afternoon to Rahway River Park for the Union County CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic.

The family-friendly celebration hosted by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, was a day of fun activities of arts and crafts, family lawn games, inflatable bounce houses, playground fun and more, along with music by the ...

Honey Bees Found in Dumpster Relocated

UNION COUNTY, NJ – The County found themselves in a sticky situation last week when a swarm of honey bees were discovered at a construction dumpster at the County Administration building.

A social media post by the County said a pair of beekeepers from the nonprofit organization Groundwork Elizabeth came to the scene on Friday, and the bees were relocated to the Elmora Public Library, as ...

Union Catholic Grad, Olympian Sydney McLaughlin Wins NCAA Title, Announces She's Going Pro

EUGENE, OREGON — College freshman phenom Sydney McLaughlin, who graduated from Union Catholic last year, won the women's 400-meter hurdles for the University of Kentucky at the NCAA Championships on Saturday at Hayward Field, and then announced after the meet that she's turning pro.

McLaughlin, a U.S. Olympian in the 400 hurdles in 2016, completed one of the ...

Boundless Talent on Display at Hannah Caldwell School

June 15, 2018

UNION, NJ –Talent was on full display last week as over 40 students participated in Hannah Caldwell School’s Talent Show, with singing, dancing, musical instrument performances, and even a comedian.

“This is a special performance because the children are in control.  All of the acts in the show were prepared outside of school by the students,” said music teacher ...

Battle Hill and Hannah Caldwell Students Celebrate Reading Accomplishments

UNION, NJ – Young readers in Hannah Caldwell and Battle Hill Elementary Schools enjoyed the fruits of their labor on Wednesday when they celebrated their accomplishments in this year's Olympic Reading Programs.

Librarian Karen Franciosa said, “I couldn't be more proud of the students who worked diligently throughout the year to accomplish their personal reading ...

Red Carpet Moment for Union High Seniors

UNION, NJ – Prom night for Union High School seniors means red carpet glamour.  

And glamour was on full display at the annual red carpet walk Thursday evening, as Union High students walked the red carpet, alone or with their date(s), to a cheering crowd. 

Sponsored by the Union Township Community Action Organization, Inc., the event showcased beautiful gowns ...

Cranford High Student Competes at U.S. Junior Amateur Sectional Qualifier

June 21, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS - Cranford soon-to-be senior Johnny Bush took his shot to qualify for a USGA championship on Wednesday.

Bush shot a 6-over-par 76 (38-38) to finish in a five-way tie for 21st place in a U.S. Junior Amateur Sectional Qualifier at the par 70, 6,558-yard Shackamaxon Country Club in nearby Scotch Plains.

65 golfers, including 54 from the Garden State, took a ...

Charges Pending Against Roselle Man Found with More than 40 Dogs Living in Squalor

ROSELLE, NJ - A Roselle man will be charged with multiple criminal offenses after more than 40 dogs were discovered living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last week, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

According to the authorities, members of those two agencies, the ...

Westfield High School Sophomore Dies; Counselors on Hand at School

WESTFIELD, NJ — Carthoris “Carter” Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High School, died Sunday night, according to Westfield Public Schools and a letter sent to parents by Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

“Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over the death of Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High ...

Mountainside Officials: We Knew Nothing About Allegations Until Lawsuit was Filed

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The mayor and council of Mountainside have gone on record stating they had no knowledge of the incidents alleged in the lawsuit filed on May 11 against the borough “until the filing of the lawsuit.”

The borough has also “retained former New Jersey State Police Superintendent Joseph Santiago” to help restore public trust in the department, ...

Reminder: Eligible Seniors Can Receive $25 in Free Vouchers for Farmer’s Markets, Starting June 25

June 21, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds income-eligible senior residents age 60 and over that they can apply for a total of $25 in free vouchers to purchase fresh produce. The vouchers may be used only at Farmer’s Markets in Union County that display a yellow and black WIC sign.

“Farmer’s Markets are a feature of community life throughout Union County in the ...

Union County Residents Can “Recycle Right” without Plastic Bags

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents that plastic bags and other excluded items cannot be recycled through their local curbside pick-up programs.

“Union County residents have a good recycling rate compared to other counties in our state, and we want to improve on this record and set a high bar,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “Every ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Concert Series Launches this Friday, June 22

Union County, NJ – The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra kicks off Union County’s 57th annual Summer Arts Festival series of free outdoor concerts sponsored by the Freeholder Board with an evening of Broadway favorites, beloved opera overtures and more on Friday June 22nd at 7:30 p.m. at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

Attendees are also invited to bring a mat ...

Union Catholic's Goldera Surles has Received a Prestigious Scholarship

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Goldera Surles, one of the state's top bowlers during her career at Union Catholic, was recently awarded a very prestigious scholarship by The National Bowling Association, Inc.  

Surles, who will continue her bowling career at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, N.Y. this fall, was awarded the first place Owen O. Washington Scholarship, which was ...

Columns

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...

Could Monmouth Park's Haskell Invitational Be on Justify's Agenda?

June 13, 2018

ELMONT, NY — Triple Crown winner Justify came out of his stall to meet the media bright and bouncing on the morning after his gate-to-wire win in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes.

When asked to assess his colt's win, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert reported, “We were watching replays of the race. He could have gone around again.”

The brilliantly colored ...

Letters to the Editor

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 8, 2018

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by prominent ...