Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Opportunity costs in everything 

The city of St. Cloud says it spent $43,000 in its search for missing St. Cloud State University student Scot Radel of Owatonna.

The expenses include overtime and equipment. The St. Cloud Police Department spent more than $24,000 and the Fire Department nearly $19,000.

The 21-year-old Radel disappeared February Second during a night of drinking with friends. His body was recovered from the Mississippi River on March First. An autopsy determined that Radel drowned.

Police Chief Dennis Ballantine hopes the state will help cover some of the search costs.

So whenever you have a search for a missing person, you get to shift the cost to someone else? The police budget is $10.7 million and the fire department another $5.25 million. So your budgets were reduced by 0.27% to search for a young adult.

But you wonder, don't you? If the $43,000 was not spent on searching for Scot, what else would it have been spent on? Is the $43,000 a gross cost that includes overtime and equipment. If there would have been no overtime without the search and the equipment would not have been rented, yes, those are real costs, but the way this is worded makes you think the cost is really less.

All considered, I think the chief should have let this go.


Categories: ,