‘In God We Trust’ decals placed on Hurlock Police Cars

Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz Celebrating the application of decals celebrating the USA national motto, “In God We Trust,” were, from left: Capt. Jeff Biskach, Joe Spratt, Mayor Joyce Spratt, Police Chief Les Hutton, Councilman Russell Murphy, and Pfc. Kyle Willey. Public response to the decals has been overwhelmingly positive.

Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz
Celebrating the application of decals celebrating the USA national motto, “In God We Trust,” were, from left: Capt. Jeff Biskach, Joe Spratt, Mayor Joyce Spratt, Police Chief Les Hutton, Councilman Russell Murphy, and Pfc. Kyle Willey. Public response to the decals has been overwhelmingly positive.


HURLOCK — Hurlock police cars have joined public safety vehicles in Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas and other states in displaying “In God We Trust” decals. The trend, which appears to have begun on social media, is growing. Facebook posts are sweeping the internet and sparking an outbreak of decals and debate.

In some communities the majority of people support the decals; in others, their usage has sparked protests. Do they “promote religious belief?” If so, opponents say they should be removed. But, can the national motto be banned?

According to the website of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the motto “In God We Trust” was first placed on United States coins when Congress approved it in 1964, “largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War.” Hurlock Mayor Joyce Spratt explained that the idea came from Facebook when she learned that small towns in Texas and North Carolina did it. “I thought it was an awesome idea because where our country is now we need all the help we can get. I think it’s a strong statement that we want Hurlock to make.” Is the mayor worried about offending anyone? She said, “When I was first elected they told me if I started our town meetings with a prayer I’d go to jail. I said ‘bring it on’ and I haven’t gone to jail yet. I can’t believe somebody’s going to be offended by this.”

Ms. Spratt hopes to see the decals on ambulances, fire trucks, and public works vehicles, “because that’s who takes care of our people.” A second decal, currently on the mayor’s SUV, will also be put on the police chief’s car and new police department Explorers due shortly. Ms. Spratt emphasized that no town money was used to purchase the decals.

Chief of Police Les Hutton thinks the decals are a “wonderful idea.” Chief Hutton feels that if this American motto is good enough to be engraved on our currency “why can’t we be proud of it? It’s patriotic and a tenet of our founding fathers. Look at your dollar bill; or any federal building. The founding fathers had no problem using it so why should we? Look at this great country that they created based on that. We’re just going back to our roots.” Asked if he is worried about offending anyone, he responded, “You can put anything out there and somebody will try to be offended by it.”

District 3 Councilman Russell Murphy also expressed approval of the decals. “It’s important because I think a lot of this type of thing is disappearing from our society.” He noted that 66 years ago, in 1956, two years after pushing to have the phrase “under God” inserted into the pledge of allegiance, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a law officially declaring “In God We Trust” to be the nation’s official motto and that the phrase be printed on all American paper currency.

A debate may be in Hurlock’s future but as of now most residents are firmly entrenched on the side of the decals.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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