A Florida sheriff is defying calls to remove "In God We Trust" decals from his police cars, after a Wisconsin organization complained the display on county property is inappropriate.
In a time when police are increasingly being targeted with violence and amid a string of seemingly unprovoked police officer murders, more and more law enforcement departments are using "In God We Trust" decals on their patrol cars. One such department is in Walton County, Florida.
Florida Sheriff Michael Adkinson came under fire from the Wisconsin atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) for displaying the decals on their police cars. Last month, the FFRF told Adkinson that placing "In God We Trust" on county property is inappropriate and exclusionary in a letter, according to Opposing Views.
"Citizens of Walton County trust their elected officials to attend to their elected secular duties. Spending taxpayer time placing religious messages on patrol cars is beyond the scope of secular government."
But the Florida Sheriff won't be bullied into taking down the decals from his police cars and has a very clear message for FFRF. The Blaze reported Adkinson said, in no uncertain terms, is he "unwilling to compromise" and will not remove the "In God We Trust" decals.
In a scathing letter, Adkinson said he and another officer wanted to pay for the decals out of their own pocket, but a local company offered them for free.
"You are obviously unaware that 'In God We Trust' is the state motto of the state of Florida, and has been since 1886. This was reaffirmed in 2006.
"I will continue to dutifully enforce the law and protect the rights of all parties, regardless of my personal opinions, as I have for my last 23 years in law enforcement.
"I would also point out the motto is inside the badge that has been inside of our vehicles since the inception of patrol cars.
"If the Freedom From Religion Foundation wishes us to take them off our vehicles I suggest that they get a judge's order or a new Sheriff."
The Wisconsin organization has not publicly commented on Adkinson's response and FFRF's co-president Dan Barker told the Blaze he is unsure of the next steps.
"We can't predict what we'll do next. Even if we wanted to sue we have to have a plaintiff there who's willing to sign on."
The letter complaining about the police car decals displaying the United States motto, "In God We Trust" was also sent to several other police departments across the country on July 29.
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