Anaheim PD helps light up resort district with messages of hope and inspiration during COVID-19 crisis


It started with an Anaheim hotel that displayed the word “Hope” in lights on its exterior a few weeks ago.

The hotel, in the Anaheim Resort District, got Sgt. Jim Griswold thinking:

What if we got other hotels and partners in the resort district to come together to display similar messages of hope during the COVID-19 crisis?

Griswold, who oversees the Anaheim PD’s Tourist Oriented Policing unit, got to work. And on Tuesday, April 14, he and other APD officers, accompanied by a video crew, captured all the different messages of love and hope on display when night fell.

The goal of the light show is to show support for the City of Anaheim and its public safety workers during the pandemic.

Signs next to the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center urge people to stand strong during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

“I put out a message to a group of 27 to 28 of our resort district partners, and got an overwhelming response,” Griswold said.

The lighting program, called “In This Together,” includes such symbols as hearts and smiley faces. It follows the refurbishing, about a year ago, of monuments at the four main entrances of the Anaheim Resort District that now are lit in blue to honor first responders during the coronavirus crisis.

A pattern of a heart is lit up at the Sheraton next to the Anaheim Convention Center.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

“It was actually touching to see how many people got involved,” Griswold said. “They were almost craving for purpose or something to do right now. I talked to some of them and they said, ‘Thank you. We were bored, we’ve been frustrated, we were looking for something to do and this gave us purpose for the last couple of weeks.’ Everybody feels isolated right now. Everybody’s in their own hotel trying to manage this issue.

“It turned out to be a very beautiful project,” Griswold added. “And I developed a lot of closer relationships with partners that we didn’t have before because of this. This is a way to bring the resort partners together in a way when they can’t be together physically.”

A smiley face lights up the Marriott hotel next to the Anaheim Convention Center.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge