NY Prison Escape: Manhunt Cost the State $1 Million a Day, Records Show
The cost for the 23-day manhunt amounted to $23 million, records show.
— -- It took 23 days and $23 million for New York State Police and the state Department of Corrections to conclude the manhunt for two escaped killers, ABC News has learned.
Payroll records obtained by ABC News show the search this past June in northern New York for Richard Matt and David Sweat cost about $1 million per day. Overtime costs at the Department of Corrections and the State Police were double the amount of the same period last year, the records show.
The inmates escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York on June 6. Matt was shot and killed June 27. Sweat was shot and captured June 29.
In an interview with ABC News, State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico downplayed the cost.
“I know it was a substantial amount of money,” D’Amico said. “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 tally includes only the costs associated with police and corrections employees. Several other agencies, including the Vermont State Police, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and New York State Forest Rangers, also participated.
Sweat is now incarcerated at the maximum security Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, N.Y., and facing criminal charges over the escape.
ABC News' Josh Margolin contributed to this report.