'In God We Trust' Decals on City Police Cars Spark Backlash

'In God We Trust' decals on Kaufman city vehicles

KAUFMAN, TEXAS - The four words "In God We Trust" now mark the back of the City of Kaufman Police Department's squad cars. You'll soon see the phrase on animal control vehicles and fire trucks as well.

The decision to add the motto to police vehicles passed unanimously by the city council, but according to city staff, it has drawn controversy from mostly outside of the town. 

"I'm proud of it. It's our national motto, why wouldn't I be proud of it," said City of Kaufman Police Chief Dana Whitaker.

Whitaker says the decals and the work were donated and that no taxpayer dollars went into the project.

"We have a dollar bill that says 'In God We Trust' on it, I have a pocketful of quarters that says 'In God We Trust' on it. I don't have any reservations on it at all," Whitaker said.

Kaufman isn't the first Texas city to add the motto "In God We Trust" to city vehicles, but in doing, so they've become the latest to take heat for the move.

Back in May of 2016, the City of Forney did the same thing. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sent the City of Froney a letter, calling the move "inappropriate and one that is quite beyond the scope of secular government."

Back in Kaufman, critics are making their voices heard on social media.

On Twitter -- M Skinner writes. "Appears govt is promoting a religion. Not permitted under 1st Amendment Establishment Clause." A user that goes by Di adds. "The police work for everyone, not just Christians. Violation of First Amendment."

In fact, Kaufman Police received so many inflammatory comments on their Facebook, their post was removed hours after it was first published.

"I feel that you deserve better than to be inundated with that kind of meanness," the police department's Facebook manager writes in a post addressed to their followers.

"I think it's sad, that's disappointing," said Kaufman Mayor Jeff Jordan.

"Of course we'll be respectful of anyone's view and everyone is entitled to their own opinion and their oA dis[pwn belief and, we respect that -- I'm sad that it came to a point where they had to remove a Facebook post," said Mayor Jordan. 

Despite their critics, the decals will stay as those behind the display claim. It's a display of unity as much as it is a showing of faith.

"God means different things to different people, so what it means to one person it may not mean to another person -- we're police officers for everybody," Whitaker said.  

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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