Advance Auto Parts gifts Roanoke authorities $2,500 of gift cards to increase safety

ROANOKE, Va. – As part of its 90th-anniversary celebrations, Advance Auto Parts gifted Roanoke Police and Fire departments with $2,500 of gift cards to increase community safety.

“If we encounter someone who has an equipment violation, headlight out, taillight out, bad windshield wiper, we can give them that,” said Lieutenant Jennings Tardy. “If it doesn’t pay for everything at least it will take the sting out of having to pay for all of it.”

Police Chief Sam Roman brought up the department’s traffic safety division to the city council last week.

“Traffic safety is something we think is very, very important. However, with some of the challenges we have seen in law enforcement through attrition, some of the challenges we’ve seen through gun violence taking up a large portion of our time, our traffic safety team had to be downsized somewhat,” said Roman. “We are really looking forward to the day in which we can get back to giving more than adequate attention to traffic safety.”

In 2021, there were 10 traffic deaths in the city and 227 tickets were given out for distracted driving.

“If we are not out there or they think we are not out there, they are unfortunately less likely to obey,” said Tardy.

Now, when authorities are out, they can give out gift cards to help drivers.

“It’s very important for us to serve the customer and give back to the communities in which we operate because they are the ones supporting us,” said Advance Auto Parts Executive Vice President Tammy Finley.

Roanoke Fire-EMS will distribute $25 gift cards as recognition to citizens attending community-based activities, such as child safety seat installations, free smoke alarm giveaways, public education events, and more.

“We can actually hand somebody something tangible to say they did a great job and thanks for having a working smoke detector or thanks for attending this fire prevention talk or education program, so that we know we’re doing everything we can to keep our community safe,” said Roanoke Fire-EMS Chief David Hoback.

Each department was given $25 gift cards, for a total of $2,500 to be handed out.

About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.