‘In God we trust’ decals on police cars in Texas town offend anti-religion group

‘In God we trust’ decals on police cars in Texas town offend anti-religion group
Lee County, Va., Sheriff Gary Parsons stands next to a patrol car that displays an "In God We Trust" decal on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. Parsons said his office spent a total of $50 to have the decals added to about 25 vehicles. He said many people feel their belief system is being trampled and that adding the phrase is a way of pushing back. But a watchdog group says the decals amount to an illegal government endorsement of religion. (Rex Bailey/Lee County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A police department in a Texas Bible Belt community has placed large “In God We Trust” decals on its patrol vehicles in response to recent violence against law enforcement officers, drawing criticism from a watchdog group that says the decals amount to an illegal government endorsement of religion.

The decision by police this month to unveil the phrase in Childress, an agricultural community of some 6,100 people at the southern edge of the Texas Panhandle, follows a similar move by dozens of other police agencies elsewhere in the country.

Police Chief Adrian Garcia said he decided to add the decals in response to recent attacks on law enforcement personnel that have received broad attention, including the Aug. 28 killing of a sheriff’s deputy who was shot 15 times at a Houston-area gas station.

“I think with all the assaults happening on officers across the country … it’s time we get back to where we once were,” Garcia told the Red River Sun newspaper. He did not respond to an Associated Press request for comment.

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