CHICAGO (CBS) — Starting today, a decade of Chicago crime statistics will be available to the public in an online database.

The information is listed on the city’s data portal site. Users can get information on specific crimes, including dates, locations, case numbers and whether there was an arrest. There are about 4.6 million incidents in the database.


Users can click on a purple tab to search crimes by year or search by the type of crime. The amount of information is massive and can be difficult and time consuming to easily filter and analyze.

Chicago Justice Project spokesman Tracy Siska says it’s a step in the right direction.

“There have definitely been positive steps,” he said. “This is Chicago, we’re used to small positive steps, we need long-term stuff.”

He told the Associated Press that the police department’s reputation is “horrible” when it comes to doling out information, citing an incident last year when the group waited 78 days to release details on the sexual assaults.

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Officials say the site will be updated frequently and is available to anybody. It is the latest step by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to make city information more transparent and accessible to the public.

Meantime, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the crime dropped 20 percent overall–including a 31 percent drop in murders–in August and September, compared with last year. He said the decline shows that adding more police officers to the streets is an effective strategy.

But he’s not declaring victory.

“We’re not the least bit satisfied,” McCarthy said. “It’s going to take a long time to get the results that we want.”