- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A North Texas police chief has told an atheist organization to “go fly a kite” after it began targeting his department for the “In God We Trust” decals on patrol vehicles.

Childress Police Chief Adrian Garcia issued a one-sentence response to the Freedom From Religion Foundation after it sent a letter claiming the religious decals on department-owned vehicles violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

“After carefully reading your letter I must deny your request in the removal of our Nations [sic] motto from our patrol units, and ask that you and the Freedom From Religion Foundation go fly a kite,” he wrote in a letter addressed to FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor.

Chief Garcia posted a photo of his letter on the police department’s official Facebook page, writing, “Ok so here it is I received a letter from the freedom of religion foundation, demanding we remove the ‘In God we trust’ off our patrol units. So I responded back with this letter.”

The dust-up comes after Chief Garcia announced earlier this month that he was adding the decals to official vehicles in response to recent attacks on police officers, The Blaze reported.

“I think with all the assaults happening on officers across the country … it’s time we get back to where we once were,” he said in an interview with the Red River Sun.

The chief took to the department’s official Facebook page on Sept. 2 to share a photo of a decal on a patrol car along with the following message: “Please excuse the dirty unit. I had to share this with the public. Notice what I will be putting on all Childress Police patrol units.”

Chief Garcia said in a statement Tuesday: “As police officers, we are sworn to serve and protect the people of our city. We were displaying the motto as a symbol of patriotism. Freedom from Religion Foundation is distracting thousands of officers around the nation from doing their job. We just want to be left alone so we can get back to serving our community.”

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