ATLANTA-- Many categories of crime has fallen sharply in Atlanta so far this year – most notably, homicides--which are down 35 percent. The drop is consistent with the city’s falling crime rate over much of the last decade – and appears to reverse a trend from last year.

Homicides unexpectedly rose last year. This year, the numbers appear to be headed back down.

During the first six months of 2017, Atlanta police reported 37 murders. Contrast that with the 57 murders during the first six months of 2016 – and this year shows a drop, so far, of 35 percent.

Some of Atlanta’s most crime-challenged areas are leading the drop. In northwest Atlanta’s zone one, homicides dropped 35 percent. In southwest Atlanta’s zone four, they dropped forty percent. And south of downtown in zone 3, homicides have dropped 61 percent.

Dorthey Hurst says the drop is remarkable. "When you look at the police right now, they’re losing people," said Hurst, public safety chair of NPU M in downtown Atlanta. "We need more people to join the force. And we need to congratulate those officers who are doing a good job."

There were similar drops in other crimes -- robbery – down 39 percent. Residential burglary, down 28 percent. Auto theft, down 19 percent.

Two categories of crime have risen ever so slightly. Aggravated assaults are up by a handful. And larcenies from automobiles – car break-ins – have also climbed ever so slightly.

Read the full report here.