By Susie Steimle

CONCORD – A pricey PR move is causing controversy in Concord; with the police department spending $34,000 to hire a production company for a lip sync video.

Police departments around the country have been challenging each other to create lip sync videos on YouTube that have gone viral, but when news spread about the price tag of Concord’s production costs, some residents expressed concern.

“That’s a pretty penny for something you can do with an iPhone,” said Concord resident Isaac Al-Ahmed.

“It really upset me to see that video, that our tax dollars were being used that way, we want law enforcement to use their time wisely,” resident Ady Olvera said.

The video has more than 77,000 views and nearly 500 comments, a large number of which are positive.

“A lot of people are complaining about the money and time spent but I can see the benefits of it … great video!” commenter Ken Verduzco wrote.

“It’s been overwhelmingly positive, we have kids running up to us yelling ‘bailando’ and wanting to dance with us and that’s absolutely priceless,” said Concord Police Capt. Bill Roche.

The money came from asset forfeiture, which is drug money, specifically earmarked for equipment or community engagement. Roche says they chose “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias and invited the immigrant community to partake in the video to show Concord’s identity as a diverse city.

Roche had an answer to critics of the video and the price tag. “Look at this as if you were the disenfranchised person who is scared to come to the police department, scared to approach police officers,” said Roche. “The most important currency we have with our community is trust, if we don’t have that we have nothing.”