Atlanta's APEX Unit is working to keep guns off streets

- Murder and robbery are down in the city of Atlanta and the police department credits a lot of that to removing illegal weapons. One of the big teams behind it is the APEX Unit, Atlanta Proactive Enforcement, and Interdiction.

FOX 5 News went along with one of the squad cars in the APEX Unit to northwest Atlanta where a man driving a truck was pulled over for swerving in traffic. His car was searched and police said they discovered cocaine and marijuana. The man told police he is from Douglasville and was visiting his father. The traffic stop occurred in one of the targeted areas, near the so-called Bluffs, known for street-side drug sales.

"Our main goal is to go to the areas that are already showing a violent crime pattern and we use a 28-day crime pattern," said Lt. William Ricker.

Those areas were discussed beforehand with the APEX Unit.

"So far we've been able to keep crime down we need to keep going," Lt. Ricker told the group sitting around a large conference table.

The Apex Unit fans out over Atlanta daily to remove guns from the streets to help bring down crime.

"By taking weapons away [from] violent criminals there's less chance of them to continue to commit crimes involving those weapons. Murder is down just under 40 percent and robbery is down significantly as well," said Lt. Ricker.

He said 123 weapons have been seized by APEX this year which he said is a 1000-percent increase from last year.

A BB gun was found with the man who told FOX 5 News he is not a drug dealer.

"I wasn't selling, I do them. There's a difference between distributing and doing them,” said the man who also believes the APEX Unit is a good thing. "That's a good thing cause a lot of kids don't need the drugs a lot of kids don't need the guns."

The man arrested also told said he is a father of several young children.

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