Murders are down in Atlanta so far this year, after a spike in 2016, according to the Atlanta Police Department.
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The department says there were 43 homicides in the city between Jan. 1 and July 15. That’s down from 62 during the same period last year.
APD Deputy Chief Jeff Glazier is in charge of field operations. He credits a new, more aggressive mission by APEX, the force’s tactical unit.
“This APEX team has recovered almost 150 guns so far this year, compared to about 15 this same time last year, so it’s huge increase in the recovery of weapons and taking these guns off the street,” Glazier said.
Of the guns seized, 43 were stolen and 58 were taken from convicted felons. Glazier said the APEX team has a comprehensive approach.
“They target gang members, they target convicted felons and they’re targeting the drug trade in some of these challenging areas,” he said. “When you do that, then a by-product is going to be the seizure of all those weapons.”
Last year, there were 111 homicides in Atlanta, and FBI data shows Atlanta’s murder rate was higher than Chicago’s. So far this year, while Atlanta’s number has gone down, Chicago’s has continued to rise.