The public has been mostly favorable of the "In God We Trust" stickers placed on Covington, Louisiana's police department patrol cars.
Following the death of five police officers in the line of duty, Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz decided to pay out of his own pocket for two-inch “In God We Trust” stickers to be made at a local copy shop, a personal choice he announced on the department’s Facebook page.
Docucenter, the print shop that produced the stickers, offered to make them free of charge.
On Feb. 18, the stickers were placed on the back of all marked police cars in Covington, and locals were invited to join in the event.
“I am sure the question is out there as to why do this? I simply say, 'why not'?," Lentz said. "It is time we get back to where we once were. If by displaying our national motto on the back of our police cars makes people stop for a second and think, then mission accomplished. It is time to return to the values this country was founded on.”
There have been critics of Lentz’s decision to place “In God We Trust” stickers on police vehicles, WDSU reports.
“Good old Christian arrogance strikes again,” one critic wrote on social media.
“As an atheist, I find this extremely inappropriate and offensive ... Imagine if your atheist boss decided to post 'God is dead' stickers on your company car and then forced you to drive around town in it,” another user wrote.
Critics aside, a follow-up post on the department's Facebook showed what a success it turned out to be.
When the time came this morning, we were joined by so many people of different races, religions and political beliefs, that came together in a statement of support for the values that make our nation the greatest place on earth.
It was truly an honor to be joined by our community, especially the children, who took time out of their school day to join us and help put stickers on the cars. If we can make a difference in even one child's life, we have taken a giant step in achieving our goal.
Thank you to all who came, and those who weren't able to come, but showed their support through social media, emails and phone calls.
We are humbled and proud to be able to serve ALL of the people that live, work and visit the City of Covington!”
Lentz is happy with his decision, regardless of the criticism.
"I knew when I did this there would be naysayers, but that goes with most things you do," Lentz said, according to The Times-Picayune. "I have no regrets."
Covington is not the first community to use “In God We Trust” decals. In Mississippi, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina, emergency responder vehicles are displaying the national motto. 'In God We Trust" was declared the national motto in a 1956 bill signed by then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
"The response I've received has been overwhelmingly positive," Lentz said. "Several trolls on social media had negative things to say. We did research on them, and many were from other parts of the country."