Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Thomas George Tarantino

Martinez Police Department, California

End of Watch Saturday, April 21, 1973

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Police Officer Thomas George Tarantino

To the family of Officer Tarantino,
I remember that fateful day very clearly. I was coming on shift in the afternoon when the 11-99 call came out. I and several of my fellow officers rushed to the scene but it was too late to save him but one of our officers was able to arrest the suspect.

I cannot describe the feelings that went through my heart that day and the days following at the church service.

I worked the area of Martinez and knew many of the officers. My memory of Officer Tarantino will not be forgotten.

Officer Jim Dowling
California Highway Patrol (Retired)

March 1, 2020

I am a civilian and a resident of Martinez since July 1971. I remember exactly where I was when I heard all the sirens rushing to towards Hwy 4.

I later heard on the news of Officer Tarantion's death and how it happened.

A very sad day for all of us. I display a blue light in my porch light in support of all officers.

Virginia Rodriguez

August 21, 2019

To the Family of Officer Tarantino:

I recently discovered this Memorial Page and thought I would add a reflection.

I responded to the scene where Officer Tarantino was shot and knew that his injuries were serious and possibly fatal. It was such a somber and emotional experience for me and the other responding officers because I knew Tom from previous contacts.

We were able to arrest the suspect but that did not mitigate the sorrow we felt in the loss of our fellow officer and the knowledge that you would soon be advised of the tragic incident.

I attended Tom's memorial service and recall the somber, sad memories of that day.

46 years have passed and I still vividly remember that terrible day. May God give you peace as you reflect on Tom's memory.

Officer Jim Dowling (Retired)
California Highway Patrol

June 21, 2019

Rest in peace.

Lt. Jim Russo

April 22, 2018

Rest In Peace Brother LEO. Thank you and your family for your sacrifice and service.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

April 21, 2018

Officer Tarantino,
I want you to know I was a young man at the time of your death and less then eight years later I became a fellow officer. You touched my life even though we never met.
I will never forget your name and how much it tore me apart hearing of your death. Even after 36 years as a fellow officer I sadly reflect on your ultimate sacrifice and its impact all of us. God bless you sir and those who cherish you.

Isaias Menchaca
Concord Police/CCCDA'S Office

March 30, 2017

Thank you for your Heroism Sir, RIP

James Kotke
Civilian / Former Officer
WSF Park Police (Wi.)

September 6, 2012

Rest in Peace, Officer Tarantino. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 15, 2012

Last month, September 2011, I had the opportunity to visit the Police Memorial in Washington DC and I looked and found the name Tom Tarantino. I remember when he was killed. I sadly stood at the memorial and rememberd when the news came in of his on duty killing and later the City of Martinez naming a street after him in their waterfront area.

Alan E. Nielsen
Surprise, AZ

Alan E Nielsen, Comm Mgr [Ret]
Contra Costa County Fire District

October 8, 2011

Not forgotten...


April 8, 2011

Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your EOW. You will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

April 21, 2010

Thank you Officer Tarantino, for your service and dedication. I was getting out of my car and heard the sirens. I said a prayer not knowing who needed them. Was sadden to know it was an officer just doing his duty. What a sad day that was for your Family and for all other officers. Words of comfort can only ease the pain that was left behind with the taking of your life.


February 3, 2010

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 36th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace.

I hope to meet your family at one of the Northern California COPS functions.

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

April 21, 2009

No fellow California law enforcement personnel killed in the line-of-duty, should be forgotten.

Officer Tarantino, Your memory lives on with the scholarship that bears Your name.

May Your Soul Rest-In-Peace

Maj M. B. Parlor

April 21, 2008

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

September 20, 2007

Rest in peace, Sir! You are not forgotten.

Police Officer

January 20, 2007

to a man who left a living legacy of police work to his family... you are a hero to so many you never met!

February 5, 2006

To the family and friends of Officer Thomas Tarantino, the Martinez Police Department, and most especially to Officer Tarantino:

It has been thirty two years since your death, but you are not forgotten. Your valor will be forever remembered and honored. How very sad that you had to die under such tragic circumstances.

It must have been a terrible blow to your department to lose an officer to gunfire. Martinez was, and is, a small town with a small department so I know you must have been missed enormously.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the service you gave to the community of Martinez and the citizens of California, and for the supreme sacrifice you and your family made on April 21, 2003 in the line of duty.
Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya, mother of fallen officer
Larry Lasater, PPD eow 4/24/05

August 24, 2005

No officer that gave his life should be without reflection……

“For those who pledge to uphold it, Freedom requires a sacrifice the protected will never know”


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