The city council in Hodgenville, Kentucky, has voted to back a plan to place “In God We Trust” decals on the side of two new police cruisers acquired by the local police department.
Police Chief Marcus Jackson asked for the mayor’s approval of the decals before obtaining the support of the council, WDRB reported.
“I'm very proud to be from a community that is a community of faith,” Mayor Kenny Devore told WDRB.
“I’m always glad when we have the support of the council, city and the community,” Jackson said, adding that the decals will be optional.
However, his plan has not been met with universal approval.
One person responded to the department’s Facebook post announcing the addition of “In God We Trust” decals by describing the stickers as “a stupid waste of resources.”
Others have raised concerns about the constitutionality of the message, arguing that it undermines the separation of church and state.
“Well I think it's been very positive. There are always a few naysayers about things,” Devore said.
He added that public money would not be used to purchase them.
“I will pay for them personally," he said. "I will pay for the lettering."
Tommy Turner, Larue County Judge Executive, said that he hoped no lawsuit would result from the change.
“I am supportive as I think allowing ‘In God We Trust’ on our cruisers reflects the majority feeling of the community and if it were a public referendum it would pass overwhelmingly,” Turner wrote in an email to WDRB.
The debate over “In God We Trust” signs on police cars has spread well beyond Hodgenville.
On Nov. 4, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a legal opinion defending the right of police departments to put the phrase on their cars.
“Displaying ‘In God We Trust’ on police vehicles is a passive use of a motto steeped in our nation’s history that does not coerce citizen approval or participation,” he wrote in the briefing, according to My Statesman.
Paxton was asked to provide an opinion after the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent letters to several police departments in a number of states protesting the stickers.
FFRF reacted to Paxton’s briefing by saying that police should be relying on the law, rather than a deity.