Watchdog Demands Data|on Chicago Policing

CHICAGO (CN) — The Chicago Justice Project sued the city for its “data dictionaries” that explain the information collected in its database of 911 calls and police responses.
     The nonprofit asked the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications in June for the data dictionaries that explain the contents of each field in the database that stores calls to police and categorizes the responses.
     The Justice Project was created in February 2007 to analyze data from criminal justice agencies and advocate for evidence-based reforms.
     It says that understanding the data the city collects on police services will help the public understand its emergency response operations and make informed inquiries.
     The city denied the FOIA request in June, saying the information is a trade secret of its vendor, Northrop Grumman.
     But in its Aug. 30 complaint in Cook County Chancery Court, the Justice Project says Northrop Grumman will not be harmed by the public release of the data dictionaries.
     “Especially in light of the rigorous ongoing debate over police reform, this information is vitally important to the public’s right and ability to make informed and efficient FOIA requests to hold public bodies accountable, and there is no basis in the law for OEMC to withhold it,” the complaint states.
     The Justice Project is represented by Matthew Topic with Loevy & Loevy.
     City spokeswoman Therese Cordaloosi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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