Alaska police have a bold idea about kindness

Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, is a little bit small and a lot remote. With no roads leading in or out, visitors and residents have two choices: plane or boat.

I know a little bit about Juneau, because I spent about a decade there. So I felt downright gleeful to see ABC News pick up a story of innovation in the local police department.

Lt. Kris Sell wants 2017 to be community-wide year of kindness, and she is partnering with Random Acts to make it happen.

The Juneau Police Department is joined by nonprofits, businesses, school groups, and government departments, each of which is choosing one week out of the year to engage in a spurt of compassionate acts. Corrections officers are up first.

It’s not just a gesture of goodwill. At year’s end, Sell plans to measure whether the surge is accompanied by a decline in rates of crime, suicide, and 911 calls. Juneau is a small place, and usually a safe one, but it sees its share of violence and tragedy.

“Can you change the quality of life in a community and prove that you have done so?” Sell asked ABC.

Let’s hope so. For Juneau, and for so many other American cities and towns looking for a better tomorrow.

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