Police decals

Signmasters owner Juanito Flores poses for a photo after placing "In God We Trust" decals on the backs of Delano Police Department patrol vehicles earlier this month. Delano is believed to be first California city to to put motto on the back of police cars and Bakersfield could follow suit.

Delano is officially the first city in Kern County, and possibly in the state, to have the national motto “In God We Trust” placed on its patrol cars, but Bakersfield could soon be next.

At Wednesday's city council meeting, Bakersfield pastor Angelo Frazier plans to make a presentation during public comment, proposing Bakersfield follow in Delano's footsteps by adding the nation's motto to patrol cars.

"When Delano happened, that kind of snapped me into reality," said Frazier, who has been thinking about the idea for many years. "Everyone I've talked to in the community are all for it."

Frazier, who is also a volunteer BPD chaplain, noted that the decals would be paid for by local businesses, meaning the cost to the city would be nothing.

City Councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan has come out in support of the effort to place "In God We Trust" on city police vehicles.

She said that once the proposal comes before the city, she would work to place the item on the next city council agenda.

"The motto is non-partisan, nondemonianation. It is all inclusive. So it is intended for our community," Sullivan said. "There’s really no downside to this effort."

Several other community members are expected to attend Wednesday's council meeting in support of the proposal.

If the council places the proposal on the agenda of the next council meeting, it could come up for a vote as quickly as June 5.

"Hopefully it will catch fire and rock and roll," Frazier said.

The Delano Police Department’s cars were outfitted last week with decals on the back that include an American flag and the words “In God We Trust” underneath. The Delano City Council approved the decals at its April 2 meeting.

While other states have taken similar action, proponents believe Delano is the first time a California city has put the motto on police cars.

Bakersfield could be second, and proponents in Delano say the "In God We Trust" decal has been positive for the city.

“It’s a reminder of the beginnings of our nation’s founding. It gives people a sense of appreciation for our nation, for our motto,” said David Vivas, a pastor with World Harvest International Church who proposed the idea to the Delano City Council.

Vivas said he wanted to help provide a more positive image of the police department to the community as well as an outlet for the department to express patriotism. He said the decals are not intended to endorse a particular religion or infringe on people’s religious rights.

“Our community is a faith-based community, but again it’s not something where we’re trying to force people to believe in God,” he said. “It’s a sign of patriotism. For people of faith, there’s a deeper appreciation.”

Delano City Councilmember Bryan Osorio was the lone no vote when the city decided to allow the decals.

At the time, Osorio said while he respects the motto he believes there needs to be a healthy separation between church and state.

While Vivas said he was initially looking to get private donations to help pay for the decals so that it wouldn’t have to come out of the city’s coffers, a Delano business owner offered all the materials and labor needed for the project.

Vivas said Juanito Flores, owner of the local business Signmaster, put together the decals and placed them on the patrol cars last weekend.

“I initially went to him just to see if I could get a quote,” Vivas said. “When I told him about what we were trying to do, he said that he wanted to donate the materials and labor to put them on. It touched me. It just goes to show there’s a lot of people like him in the community who appreciates the police department. That’s the kind of people we have here.”

Vivas said factoring in the 50 cars that needed to be outfitted with the decals, the total cost for the decals was about $1,000, at around $20 a piece.

“The police are surveying the community to help make it (better),” Flores said. “I wanted to help out the community. It’s from my heart.”

Since officers have been driving with the decals over the past week, Vivas said the community seems to be responding well to their appearance.

“A lot of people have been very complimentary. Everyone seems to be very appreciative,” he said. “Even those who are not very religious seem to be fine with it. I appreciate their attitude and support."

Joseph Luiz can be reached at 395-7368 or by email at jluiz@bakersfield.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @JLuiz_TBC. Sam Morgen can be reach at 661-395-7415. You may also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.

(22) comments

Sage on the Hudson

Yes, “In god we trust” has been on U.S. coinage since 1864, but it’s still a violation of the First Amendment’s dictum that “government shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.”

Better that Delano adorn its cars with the slogan “In Cop We Trust.” It’s closer to the truth, more easily provable, less controversial and might actually elicit a smile from the taxpayers funding the city’s gesture.

Brien

1. There are no gods
2. No gods have been proven
3. It is divisive!!
4. It is unConstitutional
5. there are no gods.....

REMUDA

Where can I get some for our cars. . . and bikes . . . and boats, trains & planes?
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Read about the Delano vehicles, but don't remember any pictures with flags as prime symbol. Completely appropriate and should be on Fire Dept (and other emergency) vehicles as well.
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After all, our other US 'defenders' fly the 'Bars 'n Stars' on planes, tanks, ships, flight suits, rockets, satellites and other vehicles. Oh yeah . . . & after observing Congress in action of late (& other legislators) . . . gotta trust in SomeOne . . .
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So, by God . . .it might as well BE GOD . . . !
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MAGA . . . MACA . . . !
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Semper Fortis . .. Shipmates . . . !

JimmyDude

Remuda........you're an interesting dude

JimmyDude

First comment - I just looked at the BPD web page - the mission statement is great! "The Bakersfield Police Department partners with our community to protect the lives and property of the people we serve."
If you want to add a decal to the vehicles, why not use something like "To Protect and to Serve" like LAPD does? What a great reminder that the Police are on our side, they are here to help and protect us. We should be able to put our trust in them. Perfect!.
Second comment - $1,000 for 50 decals? It took me about 10 seconds to find them on Amazon for $4 a pop and I bet with 5 minutes of effort, you could find a pack of 50 for a buck each.

Patricia Edna

It’s not costing the city anything. So if they want to make high quality decals that will last in the harsh climate here, that’s their right. A $4 decal made in China isn’t going to last very long

JimmyDude

Ya got me there! If there's nothing better to spend $1,000 (of whoever's money) on, buy the stickers. American flag stickers and God references shouldn't be, but they WILL be, considered divisive, exclusive, and offensive to at least some percentage of the population. Pick your battles - how important is it really?

kbriefer

Jacquie Sullivan said "The motto is non-partisan, nondemonianation. It is all inclusive. So it is intended for our community," Sullivan said. "There’s really no downside to this effort."

what about the atheist, the agnostic, the Pastafarian, and so on? Seriously, Ms Sullivan has been pushing this agenda for years. Can we just let it go and keep religion in the churches where it belongs and not on Government vehicles?

Stephen

Sigh. Crime, homelessness, filthy air, disease, lack of healthcare for some, rampant litter and vandalism, bad pavement and folks want to avert their eyes from real issues to pursue yet another ideologically motivated slogan project? Really?

Religious conservatives got the slogan in Council chambers, courtrooms, and posters in classrooms. Now they want decals on police cars. All of this in their knee-jerk fear of the secularization of society.

Continuing to dream up new ways to display the slogan won't change people's hearts. It just contributes to more visual clutter in a society already inundated with ideological messaging. That, all to satisfy the notions of some while contributing nothing for the betterment of our community.

Come on, folks, there are far more constructive ways to improve life than waste money on more window dressing projects that are nothing more than ideological Pablum. Get a clue and contribute money and time to programs that accomplish things that actually improve our community than waste it on decals.

Patricia Edna

You’ve posted three times just to say the same thing. We get it, you’re against it. It’s not going to negatively affect your life, so you’ll be ok

scottybob

Nice. Needs to be bigger!

Patricia Edna

I have no problem with it at all. The decals look nice

Boogerface Nutter

In God we trust indeed. Do the police officers carry firearms? Then I guess they don't actually trust in some god to protect us.
Perhaps on Bakersfield they can apply the complete quotation. "In God we trust, all others please pay cash"

CaliforniaGirl100

Completely inappropriate. And belief or trust in a god or "God" has zero to do with love of country and zero to do with law enforcement. Don't do it!

Ann Whitney Carey

The concept of God has nothing to do with patriotism.
Decals on police cars solve no societal problems.

Django

Easier to trust an invisible magic being I guess.

Stephen

I would be opposed to adding “in God we trust" decals to city police cars.

This bit of reaction to some imagined ideologically driven notion of an imagined “war on religion” is nonsense and those decals would be unconstructive and unnecessary visual clutter on our law enforcement equipment.

The professional appearance of our police equipment shouldn’t be cluttered up by bumper stickers promoting notions of various ideological constituencies so after displaying the IGWT sticker who would come up with some other idea of a sticker with a notion that they thought needed promoting?

Stephen

We don't need “in God we trust" decals plastered on city police cars.

This reaction to some imagined ideologically driven notion of an imagined “war on religion” is nonsense and those decals would be unconstructive and unnecessary visual clutter on our law enforcement equipment.

The professional appearance of our police equipment shouldn’t be cluttered up by bumper stickers promoting notions of various ideological constituencies. After displaying the IGWT sticker who would come up with some other idea of a sticker with a notion that they thought needed promoting?

lrlopez74

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/01/the-county-kern-county-deadliest-police-killings

Police in Kern County, California, have killed more people per capita than in any other American county in 2015. The Guardian examines how, with little oversight, officers here became the country’s most lethal.

DogPark

Sometimes lethal measures are necessary...we have some real nut jobs here. You could argue (and back it up with facts), the most nut jobs per capita.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Cool story bro- too bad it's almost four years old and doesn't have anything to do with the article above...

KenWitham

I think these decals are inappropriate. I think that Mr. Frazier might not be talking to a wide range of individuals on the matter.

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