TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa police released new numbers that show homicides in the city decreased by 36% last year compared to the year before.
Police Chief Steve Anderson said there's a focus on gun safety and community policing, but he adds there's more that can be done to reduce violence even more.
In 2016, there were 14 homicides in Tuscaloosa and last year there were 9.
Police Chief Steve Anderson said it's hard to pinpoint the drop.
"Most of the homicides that we have around here in the city of Tuscaloosa are between individuals that know each other," said Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson.
But he does think people storing their guns more safely is helping.
"If we have fewer guns on the street and fewer people tempted to use those guns hopefully that will drive down the homicide numbers," said Anderson.
The stats show majority of the Tuscaloosa homicides in 2017 were black men killing other black men, which the chief said has been a problem in the city for years.
"Try to figure out a way to help our black men our community to resolve the conflicts they have with one another without resulting to violence," said Anderson.
The age group most at risk Anderson explained is between 16 and 25, a very impressionable time in a young person's life.
"What we are trying to accomplish in doing community policing is reaching out to the groups of individuals in our community who are most affected by violent crime," said Anderson.
Just this month, the Tuscaloosa police department launched their TAPS program.
The goal is to help officers build better relationships with teenagers attending Tuscaloosa City Schools.
As far as Tuscaloosa County Homicide numbers, last year those stayed the same compared to 2016.