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7 years old and paralyzed by a bullet, fundraiser planned for India Williams

Seven years old and paralyzed by a stray bullet.

It has been three months since India Williams was struck by a bullet while playing outside during a shootout. The case is still unsolved, but Detroit police are going beyond the call of duty to help the girl and her family.

In his 17 years on the job, Matthews has learned to manage his emotions, but some things, some moments, are tender and rare.

In mid-September, India was outside playing near her home, on Detroit’s eastside riding her bike. Bullets rang out and in seconds India would be robbed of the childhood she once had.

Since then, India has been in surgery several times. Her physical therapy schedule is very rigorous, intense – changing her life and that of everyone who loves her. The Detroit Police Department wants to do something to make India smile, offering she and her family some comfort and peace this holiday season.

Police will host a fundraiser for the family, Thursday, Dec. 11 at Bonanza Bowling Alley, in Warren. The money would go to medical bills, and making some of India’s wishes come true. The bowling alley is located at 24600 Hoover. The fundraiser starts at 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. For $15, participants get two games and bowling shoes.

Detroit Police Department Launches Smart Phone App To Connect With Residents

The Detroit Police Department launched a new app Tuesday which will expand the reach and connectivity of the department and its officers to smart phone users.

The app, developed by Detroit Labs, provides information about the city and departments, allows tips to be submitted anonymously through the app and contact numbers for precincts, bureaus and other departments.

The app, which is available for both iPhone and Android smart phones, was developed over the course of the nearly three months by the team at Detroit Labs. Craig added that Detroit is one of the first departments to offer this type of app, and in the future, it will offer one of the most state-of-the-art apps to connect with the community in the nation including push notifications of local crimes.

Sgt. Michael Woody, who was the department liaison with Detroit Labs, stated that this is a “phase one” app. Even though this is the first generation of the app, it offers some advanced features to “engage the community in new innovative ways” including:

• Publishing department news and press releases including statistics, major crime summary reports and missing persons reports

• Connect to department social media pages

• Find phone numbers and emails for precincts, captains and neighborhood police officers

• Anonymously submit tips to the department through the app. Woody added the tips come to the department through a series of filters and cannot be tracked to who sent it.

Dan Ward, co-founder of Detroit Labs, said his team wanted to something for the city because “Detroit is who we are.”

The launch of the police department app is just another step in connecting Detroit’s city hall with the public, Mayor Mike Duggan stated. In addition to the police department app, the city is developing an app which will allow residents to report a downed tree, dump site and water main break and allow it to be routed to the proper city department.

Also, an app for the Detroit Department of Transportation which will allow residents to find bus schedules and locations of buses.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr resigns

Gov. Rick Snyder accepting a letter of resignation from Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

Orr has been in control of the city’s finances since March of 2013. Detroit officially exits bankruptcy on Dec. 10.

Today in a letter to the governor, Orr says the city has taken significant steps to restructure its finances and will no longer be in a financial emergency when it officially gets out of bankruptcy.

Snyder agreed with Orr’s assessment and officially issued a notice of termination. Snyder, Orr and Detroit City Council members will hold a press conference to discuss Detroit’s exit from receivership and bankruptcy Wednesday.

Southfield police to add body cameras for officers

Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins said police body cameras are the way of the future and Hawkins says he wants to get in on the ground floor.

This after the deaths of unarmed black men in Ferguson and New York at the hands of police, are fueling more calls for transparency and accountability. Hawkins says his police department has been testing and evaluating body cameras for the past few months, but have been considering them for more nearly four years.

Not all law enforcement officers are on board. Many fear that cameras may be used to punish officers for violating minor department policies or even talking badly about a supervisor. They also fear the cameras will be a major invasion of privacy. Some law enforcement agencies though believe that benefits outweigh the risks.

Eastern Michigan University public safety officers will begin wearing body cameras next year. The Washtenaw County Sheriff Department says its deputies will start soon. Southfield police still has to test two other brands of body cameras but hope to buy them en-masse for officers in at least a year. It is expected to cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Woman accused of stealing mail

A woman who worked at a Detroit mail processing center was charged with stealing mail Monday.

Sharon Berrien allegedly took between 1,600-2,000 pieces of mail since October.

Police began investigating the mail processing center on Oct. 6 when a customer brought mail that he found on the side of I-94 to the post office. The man said he found the mail scattered on the side of the road while walking along the Pelham Road exit on westbound I-94. He said it was the second time he’d found mail in the area, as his wife had discovered mail in the area two months prior.

The mail found along the road consisted of greeting cards. Police searched through the work schedule at the processing center and found that Berrien worked on each of the dates that the mail would have been processed on. Police also said the area where the mail was found was directly between the center and Berrien’s home.

On Nov. 21, about 800 pieces of mail were left in the trash for pickup outside Berrien’s home. These pieces were also greeting cards. Three days later, police began asking Berrien about the investigation. She eventually admitted to taking the mail to her home, hiding the mail in her closet until her husband went to work and then opening and removing the contents of the mail after he left, according to police.

Berrien said she took the cash, but not gift cards or checks from the mail.

“I was bored,” Berrien told police when they asked her why she took the mail. She also said that it was just a game that she played to see if she would get caught, but that it got out of hand. She told police she did not need the cash and doesn’t have any financial problems.

Berrien would take mail from the sorting table about once per week, according to authorities. She told police she had taken between $1,000 and $1,500 in cash.

Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Digital Producer of The Morning Heat and Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit

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