Matthew Tarentino

The Detective Matthew L. Tarentino Community Policing Grant Program provides grants in honor of Tarentino, above, who died in a crash May 30.

Office of the Attorney General / provided

TRENTON — Law-enforcement agencies in Atlantic and Cumberland counties are two of 28 departments statewide to receive part of more than $200,000 in grant money for community policing programs, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced Tuesday.

The Detective Matthew L. Tarentino Community Policing Grant Program is honoring the Pleasantville Police Department and the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office.

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The new program provides grants to police departments that foster good police-community relations, Porrino said. It is named after Detective Matthew Tarentino, a Summit, Union County, police officer who worked toward that goal. Tarentino died in a crash May 30.

The Pleasantville Police Department will receive $7,842 for its Pleasantville Community Event/Narcan training program.

The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office will receive $5,831 for its Cops, Kids and Cones Community Policing Initiative program.

The Pleasantville Police Department and Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office were two of 138 police departments that submitted applications when the attorney general announced the new grant program in June, Porrino said.

The Detective Matthew L. Tarentino Community Policing Grant Program provides up to $10,000 in grant money to fund community policing initiatives. The first round of grants was set at $121,000 in honor of Tarentino’s badge, #121. It was financed by criminal forfeiture funds, Porrino said.

Porrino increased the funding to $219,122 after receiving the 138 applications.

“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.”

A second round of grant funding will be offered later this year. Police departments that were not funded in the first round may reapply, Porrino said.

Waldy Diez joined the Press of Atlantic City's breaking news team in July 2017. She's a graduate of Syracuse and Rowan Universities. Previously, she was a morning tv news producer.

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