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Alabama hostage situation could cost millions

3:13 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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By Jamiese Price

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN/CNN) - Federal and local law enforcement officers worked for nearly a week to rescue a young Alabama boy who was being held hostage.

Ethan was rescued and his captor, Jimmy Lee Dykes, was killed, but the mission was costly.

Countless man hours and an overwhelming amount resources went into rescuing little Ethan. Now that he's safe, it's time to look what an operation like the child hostage standoff will cost.

"When something like this happens, they'll tell the finance people to open the check book, whatever it costs. You have supportive citizens who will pay whatever amount to help and operation like this," said John White, retired Dothan police chief.

Wwhite says a hostage situation like the one we saw in Midland City can deplete an agency's budget. He estimates this hostage crisis will cost millions.

"How do you put a price on a human life? I'm sure Sheriff Olson expended his entire budget in this operation as well as deep into the budgets of others. It's worth every penny to spend that money," he said.

White says most law enforcement agencies don't anticipate anything like this happening and can't plan for it in their budget.

"You got over time cost, you've got fuel cost, you've got vehicle expenses you've got other asset expenses that you don't anticipate when you develop your budget, said White.

As FBI agents continue to clear the destructive crime scene Dykes created, the question remains, who will cover the cost for it all?

WDHN/CNN

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