The first “In God We Trust” decal was placed on a Kern County Sheriff’s Office vehicle Wednesday, perhaps the first of many.
“This is just the tip of the spear,” said local pastor Angelo Frazier, who has helped lead the push for adding the nation’s motto to law enforcement vehicles across the county.
Bakersfield police and fire departments began adding the decals to all city law enforcement vehicles in August, after the City Council gave the okay earlier this year.
Shortly after the City Council made its decision, Sheriff Donny Youngblood gave the okay to deputies who would like to add the decals to their patrol vehicles on their own initiative.
The first man to volunteer, Sgt. Peter Martinez, said he couldn’t wait to add the decal to his patrol vehicle.
“Honestly, some people think of it as a political function and it’s not,” he said. “It’s a true faith in God and trust. And I know it will even bring the community a little tighter.”
He stopped by the Kern Law Enforcement Association on his lunch break to add the sticker during a small ceremony. KLEA raised funds to purchase the decals, and local resident Brian Jackson organized a GoFundMe page that contributed $400 to the cause.
“We’re excited to do this,” KLEA President Richard Anderson said. “It shows our patriotism and our love for God.”
Deputies will be able to choose whether or not they would like to add the decals to their vehicles.
Martinez seemed hopeful that many of his colleagues would follow his lead.
“Leaving my office today, I told (my coworkers) where I was going,” he said. “They were like ‘how do I get one installed on mine?’ So I can see this is going to be one of many.”