Roanoke police set up command center at Valley View ahead of Black Friday

By Alison Wickline - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - The Roanoke Police Department has set up shop at the Valley View Walmart ahead of Black Friday. The mobile command unit will help officers have more of a presence during the busy and hectic rush. 

"Anything that they needed to do deskwise that they would have to go to the building for, they could come here and stay locally in the Valley View area to give extra eyes at all times," said Fatima Foster, traffic safety officer. 

The Police Department will have extra bike units patrolling the Valley View and Towne Square areas. Officers are preparing for a busy few days. 

"We see an increase of shoplifting. We see an increase of traffic calls," said Foster.

From the traditional theft and traffic accidents to assaults and fights, the officers prepare for just about anything. And it isn't just the Police Department preparing. Walmart has set up extra surveillance cameras in its parking lot, and the mall has changed traffic patterns.

If you're a shopper planning to hit the stores for Black Friday, the Police Department has some tips:

  • Be patient.
  • Watch where you're walking.
  • Lock your car.
  • Keep valuables hidden. 

"Before you walk away, just look at it one more time from the outside to give you a perspective of if there is anything that could entice you to break into the car," said Foster.

Some of the stores at Valley View have also hired off-duty police officers to help them handle the Black Friday rush.

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