05/09/2011 11:16 am ET | Updated Jul 09, 2011

Chicago Crime Statistics: Murders Down 14.2 Percent, Overall Crime Also Lower

Chicago's crime rate continued to decline in April, marking the 28th consecutive month that the Chicago Police Department reported a drop in violent crime.

Last year's homicide rate was the lowest it had been in Chicago since 1965. And according to crime numbers released by the Chicago Police Department Sunday, this year appears to be on track for an even lower homicide total.

There have been 17 fewer homicides this year so far than there were last year through the end of April, the CPD said in a press release, a 14.2 percent decline. Every category of violent crime saw a decline as compares to the numbers from a year ago: aggravated battery was down 17.8 percent, aggravated assault nearly that much, and robbery and sexual assault only slightly lower.

Property crimes were also lower, although motor vehicle theft jumped out of the numbers with a 20 percent increase.

Still, the violent crime rate and property crime rate were all lower in April.

Interim Superintendent Terry Hillard praised the officers on the force for the improvement. "It has been my duty since March to keep the Department moving forward and have the Department prepared to move successfully into the future with the new Superintendent," Hillard said in the press release.

"These crime reductions, particularly the reduction in homicide totals, are a testament to the hard work of the men and women of the Chicago Police Department and their focus on the task at hand during a period of change for the city and the department."