Sheriff's office adds "In God We Trust" decal to patrol vehicles

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CAMDEN COUNTY - The Camden County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday it was adding a decal saying "In God We Trust" to its patrol vehicles.

Sheriff Dwight Franklin said, "The addition of the national motto to our vehicles reaffirms our belief that our success in protecting the public depends on help from God. For those who would take issue with the new decals, I would invite them to work a radio car for a year and then tell me God had not protected them from the evil we face every day."

Franklin said the sheriff's office received its first two patrol vehicles Thursday with the motto on the tailgate.

Franklin said the sheriff's office decided to add the decals after the Missouri Sheriff's Association recently approved the decals at its annual training seminar in Branson.

Corporal Scott Hines with the Camden County Sheriff's Department said while he can't speak for everyone in his department, he thinks most of the other deputies will support the decals.

He also said he thinks most of Camden County will support the sheriff's department.

"We go into our job with the support of the mass majority," Hines said. "While it's the mass majority, it is the silent majority."

Hines has a message for people who do not agree with the decision.

"Those who ask for tolerance and acceptance often won't grant it for people who do not agree with them," Hines said. "I ask for them to accept our department's decision to put 'In God We Trust' on our vehicles." 

The Cole County Sheriff's Department started putting the same decals on all its vehicles on Monday, according to Captain John Wheeler. 

"We've had overwhelming support as a department with this decision," Wheeler said. "The community has really rallied behind us with these decals."

The decals Cole County is using cost $15.00 per car.

Wheeler said the funding for the decals does not come out of tax payers' money, but instead from donations the department has received specifically for using "In God We Trust" decals.

Wheeler said there are plans to eventually use the decals on all of the department's 30 vehicles.

Wheeler said he recognizes the decision to put the decals on all the cars won't be popular with everyone.

"I think that in our county a few people will be upset, but the majority of the people in the county will be fine with it," Wheeler said. "Everyone has the right to voice their concerns, but I don't see it causing that much backlash."

[This story has been updated to reflect the most recent information available.]