As the hunt for suspected murderer Eric Frein enters its fifth week in the woods of Pennsylvania, the costs are piling up. Not all of them can be measured in dollars and cents; some are measured in candy bars.
For 49 years, Barrett Township’s annual Halloween parade has brought thousands of visitors and thousands of dollars to the tiny town of Mountainhome in Northwest Pennsylvania. But with the man charged with killing a state trooper and wounding another still on the loose, township officials have decided to cancel this year’s parade.
Ralph Megliola, who chairs the board of supervisors, said holding the parade isn’t worth the risk even though calling it off will hurt some local businesses.
“The restaurants will lose, the people who come in and have lunch, there’s going to be an economic impact on the town,” he acknowledged.
Also canceled due to the manhunt: trick-or-treating. Instead, Barrett Township will throw a Halloween party at a school, where Megliola said kids might find more candy than ever.
That’s good news for them, but — for everyone else — the Frein manhunt is getting expensive. Megliola estimated that Barrett Township will have to spend as much as $50,000 on items including police overtime and bulletproof vests.
The Allentown Morning Call, meanwhile, estimated that overall cost to state police and other agencies now exceeds a million dollars a week as hundreds of state troopers continue to comb the region for signs of Frein.