“Sheriff Refuses to Remove ‘In God We Trust’ from Police Cars Despite Complaints”

The city of Brevard County is currently embroiled in a contentious issue centered around the slogan displayed on their sheriff’s department vehicles. Specifically, there is a push to remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from these vehicles, a phrase that has long been a fixture on them.

Within Brevard County, as well as across the state of Florida, there is a significant contingent of individuals who take issue with the presence of this slogan on community police vehicles. They are advocating for its removal. However, Sheriff Wayne Ivey has taken a firm stance against this proposed action. He emphasizes that “In God We Trust” has adorned police vehicles since their inception in the early 1900s.

Adding to the complexity of this situation, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a non-profit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin, has joined the debate. The FFRF is known for its commitment to the separation of church and state and its dedication to raising awareness about issues related to agnosticism, atheism, and nontheistic traditions.

Founded in the 1970s, the FFRF has been actively pursuing an agenda against religious influence in society. It is important to note that their stance is not against Christianity per se but rather the promotion of Christian beliefs and teachings in the public sphere. The FFRF argued for the removal of the slogan, contending that it has no place on government vehicles. “In God We Trust” is not only a motto at the national level but also at the state level, a tradition dating back to the early days of police vehicles. Annie Laurie Gaylor, the co-president of the FFRF, maintained that taxpayer funds should not be used to display religious messages on government vehicles. She also emphasized that law enforcement officers should rely on the law rather than the judgment of a deity.

Despite the controversy, Sheriff Wayne remains steadfast in his support for the motto. He insists that this slogan enjoys broad community endorsement in Brevard County. Sheriff Wayne also clarifies that taxpayers will not be burdened with any additional costs, as the Boniface Heirs Automotive Group is covering a portion of the expenses associated with the decals bearing this slogan on the sheriff’s department vehicles.

Sheriff Wayne recognizes that organizations like the FFRF consistently seek to alter established practices and traditions. Nevertheless, he remains resolute in his position. He wants the people of Brevard County to know that he will continue to serve them without allowing groups such as the FFRF to intimidate him. While he acknowledges that not everyone agrees with the slogan “In God We Trust,” Sheriff Wayne underscores that he is operating within the bounds of the law and has the legal right to display this phrase on public vehicles. Therefore, he asserts that he is not violating any laws by retaining this motto on sheriff department squad cars.

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