Sheriff stirs controversy with new decals

The sheriff's office plans to place "In God We Trust" decals on all 40 patrol cars.

The sheriff’s office plans to place “In God We Trust” decals on all 40 patrol cars.

The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office recently added new decals to the back of its patrol vehicles and the move has proven quite controversial.

Most of the patrol cars now don “In God We Trust” decals on their back bumpers. The decals were donated by Ragin’ Graphics out of LaBelle and will soon be placed on all 40 patrol cars. Sheriff Steve Whidden said he placed the decals on the back of his department’s cars to stake a stand.

“You watch what’s going on in the country, especially with the cops, in my opinion, everything that’s made this country great is being stripped from us,” said Sheriff Whidden. “‘In God We Trust’ has been on our patrol cars, it says it on our badges in the big five-point star. It’s on our state flag.”

Sheriff Whidden said the move does not violate the constitution.

The decals have sparked mixed emotions within Hendry County and beyond.

The Clewiston News asked readers to weigh in on whether or not they are for or against the sheriff’s office decision.

One reader wrote, “[I] think it’s great, with the way the world is now. The police need God on their side.” While another said, “if you are for it, think about how you would feel if it said Hail Satan, Praise Odin, all Praise be unto Allah, or any number of other religions besides your own.”

Others said the decals don’t specify which God, while others accused the sheriff of using the decals as a political ploy.

Of the nearly two dozen comments on the matter, the vast majority seemed to be in favor of the decals.

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