Police Officer Refuses To Remove 'In God We Trust' From Patrol Cars Despite Complaints
A Florida sheriff is sticking to his guns and refusing to remove decals from patrol cars that read the religious slogan 'In God We Trust', the official motto of both the state and America.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey posted on the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Facebook page to announce that the patrol vehicles had taken on a 'brand new patriotic look'.
Explaining that the suggestion for the patriotic theme actually came from a citizen - a 'very proud veteran' - the post said: "In the coming months and years as our agency replaces our patrol fleet, our residents will see new patriotic graphics on our marked vehicles that show just how proud we are of our country and the principles our great nation was founded upon!!
"While our vehicles will continue to include the iconic 'Shuttle' design in honor of our Space Center history, they will now also include new graphics of an American Flag and the phrase 'In God We Trust' that are both prominently displayed on each unit.
"To us there is no greater honor than to live in the greatest country in the world and serve as a law enforcement officer in Brevard County where our citizens love us, trust us and protect us just as much as we love, trust and protect them."
However, not everyone was thrilled with the new design.
Calling for the decals to be removed, the Freedom From Religion Foundation - an atheist, agnostic and nontheist organisation based in Madison, Wisconsin - condemned the department's 'dubious' actions.
In a letter to Ivey on 28 October, FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor wrote: "Spending taxpayer time placing religious messages on patrol cars is beyond the scope of secular government."
She continued: "Further, in a time when citizens nationwide are increasingly distrustful of law enforcement officers' actions, it is frightening and politically dubious for the local police department to announce to citizens that officers rely on the judgement of a deity rather than on the judgement of the law."
But Sheriff Ivey has said he won't be removing the design, telling Fox News on Thursday : "They have a better chance of me waking up thin tomorrow morning than they do of me taking that motto off our cars!
"I personally believe that our country is at a tipping point, and if we, as strong patriotic Americans, don't stand for the principals of our great nation, we are going to lose the America we all know and love!"
He also doubled down on his promise, telling Fox & Friends the next say that it was 'the right thing to do', and that he and colleagues were standing by it.
Ivey also has the backing of County Commissioner John Tobia, who told Florida Today that he stood behind the decision.
He said: "If the sheriff, as our chief law enforcement officer, has done the research on this issue and finds that putting 'In God We Trust' on patrol cars is a need which will measurably lower crime rates in Brevard County, I accept that determination."
Featured Image Credit: Brevard County Sheriff's Office