Saluda Sheriff sticking with God

Published: Mar. 8, 2016 at 12:46 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 17, 2016 at 11:56 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Saluda County's sheriff says he's a man of God and he wants his department to reflect his values.
 
So Sheriff John Perry is following the lead of other law enforcement agencies nationwide and adding the words "In God We Trust" to patrol cars and other vehicles.
 
Perry unveiled new bumper stickers Monday afternoon during an event at the sheriff's department headquarters in Saluda. Several dozen onlookers showed up to support the sheriff.
 
Perry says the stickers were his idea, though police departments and sheriff's departments in a number of southern and Midwestern states have been taking similar action for years.
 
Asked why he feels the stickers are needed, Perry told us, "It's because we need to put God back into a lot of things. We need to unite because God is more powerful than man or anybody above."
 
While the motto has been inscribed on United States currency for decades, the more recent trend among law enforcement agencies has come under fire.
 
Critics including the Freedom From Religion Foundation say police departments are violating separation of church and state by attaching the words to taxpayer-funded vehicles.
 
Perry says the stickers are being funded through a private donation. He says he is not worried about the criticism and says the move has nothing to do with scoring political points.
 
Perry says "this has no reflection on my election whatsoever."
 
State Representative Ralph Kennedy (R)-Lexington spoke at the event. Kennedy, an attorney with an office in the nearby town of Leesville, downplayed any chance of a successful legal challenge to the sheriff's action.

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