Concord Police Department will always pursue justice

CONCORD, CA — The Concord Police Department receives many calls for service every day, many of which have to do with low-level crimes such as thefts under $950 or possession of small quantities of narcotics.

Many people have labeled these “victimless” crimes. But are they?

Where does a chronic drug user get money to support a habit? Usually through minor theft. And who are they stealing from? You, the Concord residents.

While I agree that there needs to be services more readily available for drug addiction, that does not relieve individuals who commit these offenses from being held accountable for their crimes, even if they are low level.

A kid who saves money and buys a bike only to have it stolen is a victim. Even if the bike is worth less than $950, that person will always remember the crime.

Concord PD will take a report and file it and if CPD recovers the bike, the kid will get it back. However, when we tell a victim that the suspect will not face charges, we are sending a message there are no consequences for theft and that people can do what they want. Is this really the message that we want to communicate to the public?

For Concord PD, the answer is a resounding “No.”

Unfortunately, that is the way it is today with so-called victimless crimes in Concord. There are no consequences for these crimes, and the people who commit them are released as soon as we catch them. (Well, they do get a citation.)

It can be incredibly frustrating for arresting police officers, especially when they know that the very likely outcome will be that no charges will be filed and the suspect will most likely keep offending and eventually be rearrested.

I often use the metaphor of a three-legged stool with the officers under my command. In the criminal justice system, you have law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office (representing “the people”) and the judicial branch (think judges) all acting together to resolve criminal matters. All things being even, when all three legs function effectively, they make a stable stool.

At Concord PD, we will continue to make arrests for these low-level crimes and uphold our leg of the stool. And we will speak for the victims, like the kid whose bike was stolen. That is what I tell our officers, and I know that they take it to heart. I see many good cases made.

We patrol Concord and remain vigilant for our community. Anything less is not acceptable.

Contact Chief Bustillos at