NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans police department says the numbers of murders is down 46 percent compared to the same period last year.

In a news release Tuesday the department says there were 27 murders during the first quarter of 2019 and 50 murders during the same quarter last year.

The number of non-fatal shootings, armed robberies and simple robberies were all down as well, although those numbers were not as dramatic as the drop in murders.

Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson says there's still work to be done but says police are making "substantial progress" in making the city safer.

The news release says New Orleans recorded 146 murders in 2018. That's the lowest number since 1971.