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Keep Houston Press Free
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Remembering Julia Briggs: Teen's Project To Help Children Of Homicide Victims Lives On

This almost sounds like a movie:

Hair Balls has learned that within the Houston Police Department's homicide division, there's a detective Brian Harris who unwinds from the work of his day by coaching a girls lacrosse team. On this team (the Iron Maidens) a couple of years ago was a 13-year-old girl named Julia Briggs, who once asked her coach what he and his colleagues do, immediately after the crime, to comfort the children of homicide victims.

When, as HPD spokesman Kese Smith tells it, Harris answered that he simply goes off in pursuit of bad guys, the girl said, "Well, I want to do something for the kids, so at least they have something to hold onto."

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"And then, just a few weeks later," says Smith, "boom -- she dies of cancer."

Now, as part of the second annual "Remembering Julia" campaign, Sgt. Harris will join other Houston police officers and members of Julia's family this weekend in collecting stuffed animals during a lacrosse tournament at Cullen Park in west Houston. The teddy bears will then be given to children involved in homicide investigations and other violent crimes.

Just thinking about it is enough to melt Hair Balls' hairy heart.

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