POLK COUNTY, Ga. - A number of Sheriff's Offices in Georgia now have "In God We Trust" on their patrol cars.
Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats says he was one of the first to put the motto in big, bold letters on the back of his car. He then encouraged other sheriffs to do the same. "It just keeps growing and getting bigger and stronger, it's great," says Sheriff Moats.
The sheriff says he had so many people in the community wanting to show their support with their own decals, he got his hands on 65 decals that state "In God We Trust" and offered them to anyone who wanted one for two dollars, the cost of the decal. "We're not making any money off this, we will use the two dollars to buy more decals and just keep this going and going," says Moats.
In one day, all the decals were sold and the sheriff says he put in an order for 165 more.
Keith Redden bought several of the stickers for his family and friends. He proudly displays one on the back of his truck. "The community is behind this. I've already gotten several thumbs up when people see the decal," says Redden.
As Sheriff Moats expected, this has come with some controversy. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Wisconsin, says law enforcement should not have the motto on their cars. Co-Founder of the foundation, Dan Barker, says they've received more than 50 complaints from people across the country about officers having the motto on their patrol cars. "It's unconstitutional and it makes it look like the government is taking sides, when the government should be neutral," says Barker. The foundation plans to send letters to all the Georgia Sheriff who have the motto on their cars telling them to take them off.
Sheriff Moats says the group is wasting their time sending him a letter. "There's nothing in our constitution that says we can't have this on our cars. We're not going to take them off our cars," says Sheriff Moats.