In Bakersfield California, the City Council finally approved a proposal to add the words “In God We Trust” to the police and fire department vehicles. There had been a lot of controversy surrounding the proposal, with citizens offering widely differing opinions.
However, one council member, Jacquie Sullivan, told The Bakersfield Californian, “I love the motto. It’s meaningful. It’s powerful. Those words are intended to encourage.”
She apparently loved the proposed decal so much that she decided to fund the process through her non-profit organization, aptly named In God We Trust America.
Bakersfield representative, U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, stated that he supported the implementation of the decals. He told The Bakersfield Californian, “Displaying ‘In God We Trust’ — the official motto of the United States — on Bakersfield Police Department cars is a testament to each officer’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and defending the City of Bakersfield and its residents.”
However, not everyone thought that the move was a good one. Lawyers representing the American Civil Liberties Union were present at the city council meeting. They opposed the proposal, stating that it was bad public policy.
Jordan Wells, an ACLU lawyer, stated, “Unlike God, police officers are fallible. Their conduct should be scrutinized by the public, and when they overstep their authority, we must insist on accountability.”
Andrae Gonzales, one council member, also opposed the proposal. He stated that he was a Christian, but he decided to vote against it, saying, “The God I believe in is much bigger than a bumper sticker.”
Other cities have decided to follow suit, with Delano city council members approving the addition of “In God We Trust” to the police department’s vehicles. A similar proposal was brought to the Shafter City council members, who approved that the decals be added to the city’s police cars.