We’ve spoken a lot about how big a mistake it was for the North Port Police to let Brian Laundrie slip away and disappear.
Here he was, the only person of interest in the most famous missing persons case in the country, soon to be known as the most famous murder case once Gabby Petito‘s body was found. And yet, somehow, they didn’t follow him when he left on a “hike” to the nearby Carlton Reserve swampland in Florida. Not only that, they assured the public they knew where he was after mistaking his 55-year-old mother for the 23-year-old bald fugitive.
Just a mess. No wonder there’s a petition to create a formal investigation into the massive errors on the part of law enforcement generally and North Port in particular.
Well, based on a new report, the North Port PD have already paid a hefty price for the mistakes. The question is, how much did this hunt cost? A heck of a lot more than it would have cost one car to watch him at all times.
WINK News got their hands on the North Port Police Department’s budget for the past year or so, and it seems the overtime cost alone dwarfs what they spent in the entire year before the search!
Gabby was reported missing on September 11. Brian’s parents revealed he was gone on September 17; his remains were found on October 20. The OT budget for September and October was $195,000. To put that in perspective, the overtime cost of the whole YEAR before that, from September 2020 until September of this year, was just a third of that, $67,000. So yeah, their mistakes definitely cost them.
While the budget report isn’t broken down into more detail, one can imagine the man-hours that go into combing the swamp inch by inch for four weeks. The overtime is one thing — how long did North Port cops spend searching instead of doing their normal day-to-day work?
Not only that, this was a joint effort of multiple law enforcement groups, including the FBI. This budget is just for the local department. So in the end the cost to taxpayers may never be fully realized. One expert early on in the search speculated the search was costing $200,000 a day early on. That’s the cost of police, dog teams, boat rentals, divers they brought in, everything all told.
Oof. And in the end, it wasn’t even police that found him, it was his parents. And we still don’t have answers.
[Image via Gabby Petito/Instagram/WFLA/YouTube.]