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Police move increases transparency

For the first time, the Burbank Police Department has started putting its arrest reports online.

The above sentence should have been written years ago. Alas, it has been slow going in Burbank, where the terms “ease” and “availability” have long been missing from the City Hall vocabulary regarding public records.

But this week, Burbank police took the step many other cities did long ago: make arrest and booking activity available and easily viewable on the Internet. Belated as it is, city officials should be lauded for the move.

The old system was a source of strain and contention with local media, and getting the program up and running took some heavy lifting. Though it might appear to be a small step, this looks to be a sea change in terms of the transparency and public communication. Police officials look to making good on their promise to make these virtues a top priority.