Kolleen Byrd

Deputy Kolleen Byrd is one of several Stephens County Sheriff’s Office deputies who will drive cruisers with a decal stating “In God We Trust.”

Stephens County Sheriff’s Office Deputies are displaying their faith on their units after SCS Wayne McKinney announced adding a decal to their cruisers with the phrase “In God We Trust,” Tuesday.

“A couple of months ago I decided to add our nation’s motto in all our marked patrol vehicles,” said McKinney. “Speaking for myself and our deputies, we all place our faith and our trust in God. This is something that I feel very strong about. I think in these times, it serves as a reminder of who you put your trust in.”

The decals cost about $150 a unit and were donated by Jeremy Ramsey, a Marlow resident. McKinney said the decals didn’t have any cost to taxpayers.

“(Ramsey) told me it was his mission to try to help all law enforcement agencies and government vehicles ...  (by putting) the nation’s motto ‘In God We Trust’ on their vehicles,” he said. “He did it as a way to give back to the community and he set up a time to put it on all of our vehicles.”

For McKinney, the decals help him and his deputies remember who has their back while on duty.

“We took an oath in office and in that oath we profess our faith in God,” he said. “We profess that we will uphold the Constitution of the United States along with the Constitution of Oklahoma, so help me God. God is there and He needs to be there. It needs to be there to remind us how this country was founded.”

SCSO deputy Kolleen Byrd has law enforcement in her blood,.

Her father retired from the Duncan Police Department and the Sheriff’s department after 39 years of service, she worked with law enforcement before becoming a deputy, she said having the decal on her vehicle helps her feel safe and protected while on duty.

“God by my side, I’ll take that any day,” she said. “I think it’s a good thing for our community. In God I trust, so I want people to know that I’m proud to have that on my vehicle. It shows we stand for something we believe in. We don’t try to force it on others. It’s something that I hold close to my heart.”

McKinney said the response for the decals has been completely positive and he will face any negative effects, including lawsuits from non- religious groups when the times comes, although he doesn’t expect any to happen.

“There was a lawsuit against the Federal government to remove ‘In God We Trust’ from our money,” he said. “I know that some of the agencies that have added the decals have met very little resistance. Some individuals say it has no place in government vehicles. I’m not concerned about it. If it happens I will deal with it. (Adding the decals) comes from me as a sheriff and my beliefs. It’s a statement that I hope stays positive for other people. We’re Godly people here and I think most of us would agree that we have to bring God into our lives, that’s how we exist. We have to stand up for that.”

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