You might be surprised to learn that government occasionally acts inefficiently.
No? Me neither. I can’t think of a better example of wasteful government spending than this story out of New York. The New York Police Department launched an all-out manhunt, with helicopters and search dogs, to find a very naughty teen who hopped a subway turnstile and stole a $2.75 train ride.
The teen, who was caught by police stealing his train fare, escaped police custody after he managed to slip out a back door while being booked for theft of services. He could not have expected what lengths the police would go through to find him.
According to Twitter, police helicopters were out in an NY neighborhood last night trying to catch the naughty teen like he was a member of ISIS or something. The manhunt ended when the teen turned himself in four hours later.
They didn’t even catch him.
He made a run for it about 9:45 p.m. Monday after he was caught jumping a turnstile at the Rockaway Ave. station in Brownsville and brought to the NYPD’s Transit District 32 headquarters for processing, cops said.
About four and a half hours later, he surrendered at the 75th precinct stationhouse in East New York — four miles east of his escape.
The teen is the latest in a string of prisoner escapes to leave the NYPD red-faced over the past year. Seven prisoners gave cops the slip between June and December. All were ultimately recaptured.
The escapes have angered NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, who has vowed to “severely discipline” cops who let prisoners slip through their fingers.
The average price to take a helicopter ride in the U.S. is somewhere between $200-300, depending on where you are. Assuming the costs to operate a police helicopter are relatively similar (with zero base knowledge, let’s say closer to $300 an hour), that’s about equivalent to 109 subway fares. The NYPD even released the hounds on the poor kid in an attempt to find him.
The teen will now face much heftier charges, like escape, in addition to theft of services. But who really lost here? If I were a taxpayer in New York, I’d be kind of pissed. They say you can’t put a price on justice, but this seems like an unnecessary overspend.
Not a good look for the NYPD. Not a good look at all..
[via NY Daily News]