Tourist Unit’s Goal: Keep Anaheim America’s Safest City to Visit

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Anaheim is home to the biggest convention center on the west coast and Disneyland – one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations.

The TOP Team: Sgt. Tim Schmidt, Det. Rebecca Gershenoff, Det. Rafael Martins and Det. Dave Wiggins.

“Tourism is big business here,” says Anaheim Police Det. Dave Wiggins.

More than 45 million people visit the city every year, and they spend enough on hotel rooms to generate $83.5 million in bed tax revenue alone.

With all those visitors and dollars at stake, there’s significant pressure to maintain and enhance Anaheim’s reputation as a safe place to vacation and host conventions.

Enter the Tourist-Oriented Policing unit. The team, which includes Sgt. Tim Schmidt, Wiggins and Dets. Rebecca Gershenoff and Rafael Martins, works with hotel managers, resort operators and other stakeholders to prevent and solve crime.

The results?

The TOP team is a national model honored by prestigious university criminal justice programs. The FBI recently reported that Anaheim is America’s safest city to visit (with 250,000-500,000 residents).  And that’s not all.

“This program has provided us with a great sales tool in our convention and leisure marketing efforts promoting the Anaheim area,” said Charles Ahlers, president, Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau.

To read the rest of an interview with members of the TOP team, click here.

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