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He said those who stand to benefit the most are academics and journalists because the data will be in one place, cutting down on Freedom of Information Act requests and other time-consuming and costly requests for records.

Yale University professor Tracey Meares, who has long studied Chicago crime, said it sends a message to academics that the Chicago Police Department is “an agency that’s willing to share.”

“That kind of transparency is a good idea,” she said.

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Online:

http://data.cityofchicago.org

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Sophia Tareen can be reached at http://twitter.com/sophiatareen