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Police department to release daily records after access dispute

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  1. Freedom of Information
Police in Savannah, Ga. reached an agreement with a local newspaper on Monday in a dispute over records the news media…

Police in Savannah, Ga. reached an agreement with a local newspaper on Monday in a dispute over records the news media wanted routinely released to the public. 

The Savannah-Chatham department has agreed to start releasing a blanket daily list of all police reports, which will in turn be available online during weekdays and by hard copy when requested, according to Savannah Morning News.

The Morning News had asked Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker to weigh in after the department on Dec. 24 stopped releasing its daily incident reports at headquarters. Instead, the paper said, reporters had to request the individual reports they wanted. According to The Associated Press, Savannah police generally compile about 300 reports every day.

The newspaper argued the police were violating the state Open Records Act; the department said the change came about during its transition from a paper-based to an electronic system.

Morning News publisher Michael Traynor told his paper he is satisfied with the new arrangement.

"We believe our mutual discussion was very productive and resolves the issue on access to crime report information," Traynor reportedly said. "We also believe that the public will benefit over time as the police department migrates to a fully electronic system."