March 22, 2012

SCPD Honors Retired Deputy Chief Tom Marketello

Retired Deputy Chief of Police Tom Marketello
March 25, 1932 - January 29, 2012

The flags at the Santa Cruz Police Department and other City of Santa Cruz offices will be flown at half staff from Friday March 23rd through Sunday March 25th in honor of the memory of retired Santa Cruz Police Department Deputy Chief of Police Tom Marketello.  Deputy Chief Marketello was born in Oakland, CA on March 25th, 1932 and passed away in Santa Cruz, CA on January 29th, 2012.  He was 79 years old.

In August of 1954, Tom and his wife Peggy moved from the San Francisco Bay area to the Pleasure Point area of Santa Cruz where they spent time surfing, sunning on the beach and starting their family.  Following the flood of '55, two of Tom's old buddies called and encouraged Tom to come back up to the Bay Area to work with them. Tom and Peggy moved to a home in Albany, CA where their daughter Mari was born in 1957. Just before their son Mike was born two years later, they wanted to return to Santa Cruz to raise their children. Tom joined the Santa Cruz Police Department and they moved to Anthony Street on the westside of Santa Cruz. When they needed a 3-bedroom home, they moved to the eastside of Santa Cruz, where they have lived since 1969.  Joining the SCPD was an easy and likable transition for Tom.  While working in patrol, Tom met fellow SCPD Officer Richard Foerster, who became a long-time friend.

Tom enjoyed working patrol, even after being shot during a burglary at the Blue Chip store.  Eventually, Tom decided he wanted to join the Traffic Unit as a motor cop.  He enjoyed riding his motor around town meeting the townspeople, leading parades and riding in the beach area during the summers. He felt strongly about his duty to protect and maintain order.  Of the multitude of jobs Tom held in his life, riding a motor turned out to be his favorite. He became a Sergeant and then Lieutenant of Traffic Unit with a team of men he admired tremendously and maintained friendships with until his passing.  Over the years, some of those included the now deceased Frank Boze, Bob Bunter and Jay Sharmer. Tom and other retired Santa Cruz Police Officers, including Joe Haebe, Jeff Locke, Dave Larson, Steve Belcher, Ken Boe, Jim Conner, Tom Vlassis and Keith Duel, met at Gilda's Restaurant on the wharf for coffee nearly every morning.  They would be greeted and welcomed by their old friends Robert "Big Boy" Stagnaro and his sister and restaurant namesake Gilda Stagnaro, until her passing in 2008.

Tom retired from the Santa Cruz Police Department as Deputy Chief of Police in 1982, having served a distinguished 25-year career in our community.  A celebration of Tom’s life will be held on his 80th birthday, Sunday March 25th at 2:00 P.M. at the Santa Cruz Bible Church. In honor of Tom, The Santa Cruz Police Department’s Honor Guard will perform a flag lowering ceremony at 1:30 P.M. on Sunday March 25, 2012 in the front courtyard of the Santa Cruz Police Department, 155 Center Street.  All are invited to attend.  Following the flag lowering ceremony, the flag will be taken to the celebration of Tom’s life at Santa Cruz Bible Church in the Santa Cruz Police Department’s vintage 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne police car, where the Santa Cruz Police Department Honor Guard will perform a flag ceremony at the memorial service.