HUNT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - After a police chief in tells the Freedom from Religion Foundation that they can "go fly a kite," an East Texas sheriff said he agrees, and he would tell the non-profit group to go "butt a stump."
The Childress police department reportedly received a letter from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) asking them to remove "In God we trust" decals from their patrol vehicles.
Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks announced Tuesday in a press release that he has "made the decision to alter the decals on [their] patrol vehicles and…added "In God we trust."
Meeks said hearing the controversy in Childress sparked the idea in him.
"I wish I'd thought of it first," Meeks said. "We can give [officers] bulletproof vests, we can equip them with the best guns, but ultimately when they go out there in the field and risk their lives, it's really in God's hands."
Meeks said it took about week for the department to order and affix the motto onto Hunt county vehicles.
Now displayed on 16 patrol vehicles, he said feedback on the decals that cost about $1000 has been mostly positive.
"People have said 'way to go' and 'thank you for keeping our county safe,'" Meeks said. "I've had a few negative comments about taxpayers' money and separation of church and state."
Meeks said he expects that organizations like FFRF may contact him about the decals in the future, but he said that does not worry him.
"I believe the First Amendment gives us the right to worship our creator the way that we want to, our country was founded on God," Meeks said. "It's time for us to make a stand and get back on track."
Many of those in Hunt County, like Chris Hayes, support the sheriff's decision.
"I think it's a good thing if [Meeks is] standing up for [God]," said Hayes. "Not if he's doing it just for attention for the city, but if he's doing it for the right reasons, I think it's right."
Brian Champion also agreed with the new decals, despite how non-Christians may react.
"It might be an offense to other people, but there's only one God and he put us all here for a reason," Champion said.
Ultimately Meeks said the decals boost the morale of his officers.
"I didn't do this to send a message to anyone other than my troops," Meeks said.