Following a successful vote in Bakersfield, the advocates behind putting “In God We Trust” decals on police and fire vehicles are hoping for a repeat with the Kern County Board of Supervisors.
Local pastor and Bakersfield Police Department Chaplain Angelo Frazier, who first proposed the decals to the City Council, said he plans to make a similar proposal to place the nation’s motto on the vehicles of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
“My first thought was to do the city and the county, but we decided to back off of that and just do the city first, and then the county,” Frazier said. “In other words not to try to eat the elephant in one piece.”
He said he and Bakersfield City Councilmember Jacquie Sullivan were in the middle of selecting a design for the approximately 400 Bakersfield police and fire vehicles that will be outfitted with the decals, but after he completed the process, he planned to focus on the county.
“A number of people have come up to me and said they’re all for this, it’s about time,” he said.
No timeline has been released for adding the nation’s motto to Bakersfield fire and police vehicles.
Sullivan said her nonprofit organization, In God We Trust America, will be responsible for fundraising for the cost of adding the decals to the vehicles. A number of local businesses have committed to contributing money toward the cause.
A final cost has not yet been determined.
“We’re anxious to get the project complete,” she said. “I feel strongly that the vote went the right way, and it’s going to be good for our community, our county, our state. We’re just the first on a large scale, in a large city, and hopefully others will follow our lead.”
The city of Delano has already added “In God We Trust” decals to its police vehicles. Shafter will consider the topic at its next city council meeting on Tuesday.
Any proposal to the county will need one of the supervisors to add it to a future agenda in order for it to be considered by the entire body.
In Bakersfield, the vote passed in a 4-2 vote on June 5. Many spoke out in favor of the issue, while a strong contingent of citizens opposed it.
Those in opposition said they did not think a religious phrase affixed to the city’s public property was appropriate, while supporters said the decals will encourage law enforcement officers.
Frazier said he did not know when he would make the proposal to the county, but hoped to do so soon.
“We’re feverishly working to get this done in a timely manner,” he said, referring to the Bakersfield decals. “It’s pretty exciting.”