ALBANY, N.Y., Aug. 14 (UPI) — New York spent an extra $23 million in overtime for the 23 days it took law enforcement to capture two convicted murderers who escaped from an upstate prison in June, state officials said Friday.
Richard Matt and David Sweat led police on a three-week manhunt after they escaped June 6 from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. Matt was shot and killed June 27, and two days later, Sweat was shot and captured.
The Department of Corrections spent 43 percent more — a $12.3 million increase to $41.1 million — in overtime in June and July compared to the same two months in 2014. State police overtime spending increased by 151 percent, or $10.6 million, to $17.6 million.
“I know it was a substantial amount of money,” State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico told ABC News. “If we lost one life of an innocent victim, what’s the price tag you put on that? I don’t know that you could put a price tag on the safety of a person or a person’s life.”
The manhunt covered a swath of upstate New York near the Canadian border and at times included more than 1,000 officers, including some from Vermont.
Sweat, who has since recovered from his gunshot injuries, is in the maximum security Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, N.Y. He faces criminal charges for his escape.