Manhunt for escaped killers in upstate NY cost state about $1 million per day, records show

“If we lost one life of an innocent victim, what’s the price tag you put on that?”

The manhunt for two escaped killers in upstate New York cost the state about $1 million per day, according to records released Friday. 

Some $23 million in overtime was spent during the 23 days that law enforcement officials searched the woodlands where fugitives Richard Matt and David Sweat had fled after breaking out of the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6, the records showed.  

The numbers come from the state Comptroller’s Office, which also showed that overtime increased $2.5 million compared to the same period in 2014. 

Overtime costs for the manhunt increased for the Department of Correction and the State Police. At the height of the search, hundreds of law enforcement officers were deployed in the hunt for the killers in the rough terrain surrounding the Dannemora prison.

State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico told ABC News he understood it was a “substantial amount of money.” But he said protecting public safety was worth the cost. 

“If  we lost one life of an innocent victim, what’s the price tag you put on that?” D’Amico asked. “I don’t know that you could put a price tag on the safety of a person or person’s life.” 

Matt was shot and killed on June 27. Sweat was captured after being shot and wounded on June 29; he is currently incarcerated at the maximum security Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, N.Y.