The Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana has become the latest police department in the U.S. to add decals of the national motto, "In God We Trust," to its patrol vehicles.
Sheriff Ricky Moses said that a number of deputies had recently approached him and asked about adding the decals to police cruisers, the Beauregard Daily News reports.
"One deputy stated that when he puts on his uniform and gets behind the wheel on his unit, that he puts his trust in God for protection and that he would like to state that on his unit," Moses told the Beauregard Daily News. "I thought it was a wonderful idea and fully supported the idea."
In adding the decals to its vehicles, the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office follows a national trend of departments that have recently done so.
Moses said the feedback he has received from deputies and citizens has been positive, and that he has not received any negative feedback so far.
In other parts of the country, however, adding the decals to police cruisers has proved more controversial due to the views of some critics who believe the phrase is a religious expression. One such example is the city of China Grove, North Carolina, which also recently added the decals to its patrol vehicles, WSOC reports.
While many people in China Grove are supportive of the decals, others are worried about the precedent it sets for people of differing views.
Ray Roberts of Seattle-based civil liberties group The Original Motto Project said his group will sue should they receive any complaints from China Grove.
"This is not about majority rules," Roberts told WSOC. "This is about separation of church and state."
“It is an imposition of religion by an authoritative government agency,” he added.
China Grove Mayor Pro Tem Steve Stroud was reportedly not happy about the objections to the decals.
"If they don't like it, they don't have to come to China Grove," he said, adding that local residents had spoken with regard to the motto, "not some whiners from across the country."
Stroud said he expects fire trucks to be the next vehicles to display the motto.