My Martinez

In Memoriam


Thomas Tarantino       

Badge Number: 4
Rank: Posthumously promoted to Sergeant
End of Watch: April 21, 1973


On April 21, 1973, Officer Tarantino responded to a medical assist on Highway 4, a half mile west of Alhambra Avenue. The person Officer Tarantino was attempting to aid attacked him and
a struggle ensued. The suspect was able to gain control of Officer Tarantino's duty weapon and shoot him. Officer Tarantino was transported to the hospital, but later succumbed to the life threatening wounds.

Officer Tarantino leaves behind a wife and two children.

Paul Starzyk

Commission Date:

December 9, 1994
Badge Number: 98
Rank: Sergeant
End of Watch: September 6, 2008


On the morning of September 6, 2008, Sergeant Paul A. Starzyk responded to a domestic disturbance. A male suspect armed with a handgun terrorized patrons at a beauty salon and then forced his way into a second story apartment where his estranged wife’s cousin had sought refuge.

When Sergeant Starzyk and his cover officer arrived, they approached the apartment and heard women screaming and gun fire. Sergeant Starzyk knowingly and willing placed himself in harms way by confronting the suspect who was threatening the lives of five occupants of the apartment after shooting and killing his estranged wife’s cousin as Sergeant Starzyk and his partner approached. Sergeant Starzyk was immediately fired upon by the suspect and was critically wounded, but he was able to return fire and fatally wounded the suspect.

The investigation determined that Sergeant Starzyk’s decisive and heroic actions saved the lives of two women and three children who were hiding in the apartment. Sergeant Starzyk did not survive his injuries making the ultimate sacrifice to protect the five occupants of the apartment.

Sergeant Paul A. Starzyk was awarded the Medal of Valor posthumously for his extraordinary and heroic actions. The community will forever be indebted for his sacrifice.

Sergeant Starzyk leaves behind a wife and three children. Donations to the Starzyk Family Memorial Fund, account number 57950-00, can be made at the following:

Contra Costa Federal Credit Union
1111 Pine Street
P.O. Box 509
Martinez, CA 94553
(925) 228-7550