Concord police officer arrested for stealing prescription drugs

Matthew Switzer


Concord CA April 8 2014 Concord’s Chief of Police confirmed Monday that an officer who was arrested for illegally obtaining pain medication from senior citizens has resigned from the force.
Officer Matthew Switzer is facing two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of second degree burglary, one count of fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs, and one count of elder abuse.
Police Chief Guy Swanger told KTVU late Monday morning that Switzer has tendered his resignation.
Last week, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office said Switzer used his status as a police officer to steal prescription drugs from the apartments of several Concord senior citizens.
Switzer was scheduled to be arraigned last Friday, but the judge postponed his arraignment until Tuesday to give attorneys on both sides more time to work the case.
Switzer’s attorney Harry Stern said his client has a drug problem.
“Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. Unfortunately, it appears that Officer Switzer is another casualty of that unfortunate trend,” Stern said.
Stern said Switzer is battling an addiction and had checked into rehab for treatment.
“He had prescriptions, and the particular drugs that were involved were essentially heroin,” said Stern. The lawyer said his client has numerous issues, including suffering from post-traumatic stress.
“He was fighting a very serious addition problem. It started out with prescriptions. He had an on-duty injury,” said Stern.
Officials have not said what that injury was or how it happened.
Swanger, who requested the District Attorney investigation, last week would only say Switzer was on paid leave while the department conducts its own internal investigation.