The Childress Police Department’s use of the phrase “In God We Trust” on the back of patrol cars stirred up even more debate this week with Governor Greg Abbott showing full support of the stickers.
A Rio Grande Valley resident is speaking out against San Juan Police Department’s use of the decals.
San Juan resident Rick Ramirez went before the city commission Tuesday night claiming the department’s use of “In God We Trust” decals on some patrol units violates separation of church and state.
“If one of his officers wanted to put a sticker from his own religion, say Muslim, say Jewish, say even Satanist religion, and they would say, ‘I want my sticker, even if it is of the Santa Muerte,’ would he, Chief Gonzalez, approve of it?” Ramirez asked the commission.
Chief Juan Gonzalez of the San Juan Police Department declined an on-camera interview.
However, some officers requested the decals and were able to obtain them at no cost to the city, Gonzalez said in a written statement.
“We are not trying to make any type of statement. It was just the right thing to do in my opinion,” Gonzalez said.
Local churches have shown their support by donating money to the Crime Stoppers program. Other residents are showing their support as well.
“They need an extra shield. With everything that’s happening right now and everything that’s going on in our community, hey, it doesn’t hurt to get extra help, and if that extra help is basing their faith in the Lord that’s great,” said Carmen Garza, a lifelong San Juan resident.
Ramirez awaits for the city commission to consider his request.
Two Texas lawmakers want an opinion from the Texas Attorney General in regards to the legality of the Childress Police Department’s use of “In God We Trust.”