NJ Attorney General Porrino Awards $200,000-Plus in Community Policing Grants Honoring Summit P.D. Detective Tarentino
By Tapinto Summit
Original article HERE
New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino has announced a total of $219,000 in grant awards for 28 police departments across New Jersey from the “Detective Matthew L. Tarentino Community Policing Grant Program,” a new program that provides grants to police departments for initiatives aimed at fostering strong police-community relations. The program is named in honor of Tarentino, a Summit police officer who epitomized the goals of community policing, and who tragically passed away May 30.
The Summit Police Department is one of the recipients, receiving $10,000 to fund a “Coffee with a Cop” initiative.
In June, Attorney General 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. The first round of grants, funded with criminal forfeiture funds, was set at $121,000, to commemorate Detective Tarentino’s badge #121. However, Porrino increased the funding by nearly $100,000, to $219,122, after receiving a tremendous response, with applications from 138 police departments.
The Attorney General 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. The 28 community policing proposals approved for grants in this round include police departments in all 20 New Jersey counties from which applications were received.
“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 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.”
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.