A plan to remove “In God We Trust” decals from police cars in the small Kansas town of Haven has gotten stickier than local officials likely expected.
Wichita news outlet KWCH reported late Sunday that a group of townspeople opposed to the idea planned to attend Monday’s city council meeting convince city leaders to rethink the move that was approved May 2.
“I hope that the council and the mayor see that they’ve done something unilaterally that … didn’t go over well with the citizens they represent,” Mary Andresen, a Haven resident, told the outlet.
Mayor Adam Wright confirmed that Monday’s council meeting was being moved to a community building to accommodate a large number of residents expected to speak on the issue, according to KWCH.
Council Member Sandra Williams, who introduced the measure to remove the decals, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
As part of the May 2 vote to remove the decals, Mayor Wright also directed Haven’s police chief to remove Bible verses from the police department’s Facebook page.
The conservative Family Research Council, which is promoting a petition to reverse the decision, said about 250 law enforcement offices nationwide display “In God We Trust” on their vehicles.
“The Haven City Council has said that this was an issue of separation of church and state. But this is the nation’s motto,” FRC Action President Tony Perkins said in a media statement last week.
More than 19,000 people — the town had less than 1,200 residents in the 2020 census — had signed the petition as of Monday morning, calling on the mayor and council to reverse their decision.
“The phrase ‘In God We Trust‘ appears on our money and in many other places as an important reminder,” the petition states.