“Sheriff’s Decision: ‘In God We Trust’ Stays on Police Vehicles Despite Protests”

The city of Brevard County finds itself embroiled in a contentious situation as the sheriff’s department faces pressure to remove a well-known slogan from their patrol vehicles. The slogan in question, “In God We Trust,” has long been a fixture on the vehicles of the sheriff’s department.

Yet, within Brevard County and throughout the state of Florida, there is a significant segment of the population that opposes the presence of this phrase on community police vehicles. They have been vocal in their demand for its removal. However, Sheriff Wayne Ivey remains steadfast in his disagreement with this demand. He points out that the phrase “In God We Trust” has adorned police vehicles since their inception in the early 1900s.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a non-profit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin, is at the forefront of the effort to have the slogan removed. The FFRF advocates for a strict separation of church and state and strives to raise awareness of issues related to agnosticism, atheism, and nontheistic traditions.

Founded in the 1970s, the organization has consistently promoted an agenda aimed at preventing the endorsement of Christian beliefs and teachings in society. The FFRF contends that the slogan has no place on government vehicles, arguing that it violates the principle of church-state separation. “In God We Trust” is a motto both at the national and state level, dating back to the early days of police vehicle authorization. Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the FFRF, insists that taxpayer funds should not be used to propagate religious messages, and she emphasizes the importance of law enforcement relying on the rule of law rather than divine judgment.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey, however, remains resolute in his support for the motto. He asserts that the slogan enjoys widespread community endorsement in Brevard County and is quick to highlight that the cost of maintaining this slogan on patrol vehicles is not a burden on taxpayers. He notes that a portion of the funding for the sheriff’s department’s decals bearing this slogan is covered by the Boniface Heirs Automotive Group.

Sheriff Wayne acknowledges that organizations like the FFRF consistently seek to challenge established norms and traditions. However, he remains unwavering in his stance. He wants the people of Brevard County to know that he will continue to serve them without succumbing to intimidation from groups such as the FFRF. While Sheriff Wayne understands that not everyone agrees with the motto “In God We Trust,” he asserts that he is well within the bounds of the law to display this phrase on public vehicles, emphasizing that he is not in violation of any laws by retaining it on sheriff department squad cars.

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