MEMPHIS, Tenn — Violent crime is down in Memphis this month and the city’s police department has new statistics to back up their claim.

The Memphis Police Department brought in a presentation Tuesday to the city council members outlining how the newest recruiting class will be allocated in the city.

“Now that they’re out on the street they’ll have several weeks of field training … one of our focuses was to quickly assign more officers in the downtown space,” Police Chief CJ Davis said.

Violent crime and aggravated assaults in the city are down this month by 20%. Homicides are down 16%.

The Memphis police say that what’s driving the crime is auto theft, theft from vehicles and shoplifting.

An initiative to use more retired officers and bring them back in a full-time capacity is underway. Davis said the administration has provided 50 positions for those officers.

“So they will augment our regular patrol. They will be visible in areas that we do need more soft visibility presence, crime prevention, talking to businesses and providing all types of support for our community members,” Davis said.

Davis said the department is aggressively working to hire and start another class before the end of the year as well as attracting officers from other departments.