The investigation into what was believed to be the murder of Fox Lake Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz one year ago did more than anger and embarrass a suburban community.
It also cost a lot of money.
An analysis of the first response by NBC5 Investigates, shows that at a minimum, that response by area police agencies cost well over $220,000. And the ensuing investigation almost certainly topped $1 million.
Out of the 99 agencies which responded on the first day after reports that Gliniewicz had been murdered, 84 replied to Freedom of Information requests filed by NBC5. Those showed that a combined response by over 450 officers, cost over $228,000, factoring in manpower and equipment.
That includes 70 troopers from the Illinois State Police, at an estimated cost of $29,079; another 66 officers from the Lake County Sheriff, at $18,334; McHenry County sent 65 officers, at a cost of $21,721.
Even tiny Round Lake Beach contributed 5 officers, at an estimated $10,911.
But it didn’t end there.
The task force looking into the Gliniewicz case, borrowed heavily from surrounding agencies during the ensuing 2 month investigation.
“This was an extremely complex investigation with many moving parts,” spokesman Chris Covelli said at the time, “wihich resulted in 150 separate investigators spending over 25,000 hours.”
Multiplied times the average hourly salary for a detective in Lake County, that comes to more than $900,000 in manpower alone.
Experts say Gliniewicz almost certainly knew what his colleagues would do when he was planning out his ruse. Former NYPD homicide investigator Vernon Geberth who has studied the Gliniewicz case, says he believes the Fox Lake lieuntendant was especially aware that four law enforcement officers had been murdered across America in the preceding two weeks.
And he knew that his colleagues knew it too.
“I believe Gliniewicz purposely planned this event on September 1st, because the ‘timing was right’,” Geberth told NBC5. “He was cleverly able to psychologically manipulate the first responders in a police homicide mode, due to the killings of four police officers in the line of duty during August of 2015.”
In other words, believing cop killers were on the loose, Gliniewicz knew his colleagues would pull out all the stops.
And they did. Problem is, Geberth said, there was initially no adequate incident command at the scene.
“The responding officers were advised to use caution due to the possibility that the offenders were still in the area,” he notes, resulting in what he called “a police panic.”
“It wasn’t until the Lake County Illinois Sheriff’s office arrived, that things began to become organized.”
“Gliniewicz was able to create this perfect storm of police confusion,” he said. “He had effectively manipulated the entire event predicated upon law enforcement’s reaction to recent events at the time.”