Caving in to the whiners and the hipster doofus crowd. Sad.

‘In God we trust’ comes off Prescott, Wis., police cars

By MIKE LONGAECKER / FORUM NEWS SERVICE |
February 3, 2016
I

n spite of what he described as a warm reception from the community, the Prescott, Wis., police chief’s effort to place “In God we trust” stickers on squad cars has come to an abrupt end.

Chief Gary Krutke said on his personal Facebook page that he was asked to remove the stickers just days after they went on.

“Today I was told that I may have to remove these words from OUR squad cars because the BAD guys might be offended by these words ‘In God we trust,’ ” Krutke wrote in a post last month.

Mayor Dave Hovel said he was the one who asked Krutke to remove the stickers — but not because of any personal concerns or complaints from the community.
“I didn’t see a problem,” Hovel said.

Rather, he said, consultation with insurance companies and the League of Municipalities suggested it would be “better to have (the stickers) off.”

Although Hovel said Krutke took the news in stride, the chief sounded a different note on his Facebook page.

“I don’t know about you but as far as I see it if it is good enough and not so offensive as to be on the money that we spend everyday then it should not be so offensive that WE can’t/shouldn’t have these words on OUR squad cars,” read a portion of the post, which has since been removed.

Krutke declined to comment for the story.

The lone Facebook critic of the “In God we trust” sticker effort was former Pierce County District Attorney John O’Boyle, who sparred with Krutke in the comments.

Reached last week, O’Boyle said the effort struck him as concerning because of issues surrounding the separation of church and state.

“They’re not your personal vehicles,” he said. “Regardless of whatever his religious beliefs would be, he works for a governmental agency.”

Constitutional law is clear, said O’Boyle, who now works as an assistant district attorney in Barron County.

“You can’t be mixing the two of them and promoting a religion,” he said.

Krutke frames the argument from the standpoint of free speech, one of many causes that posts on his Facebook page promote, along with faith, military veterans and pro-gun causes. The page is headed with a profile picture of a former Georgia flag brandished prominently with the Confederate insignia.

A post made the next day — also later removed — voiced his defense of freedom of speech.

It reads, in part: “If people are offended by my posts then don’t look at my page! I fought and bleed for this Country and many soldiers just like me did the same thing so that FREE Americans have the right to express themselves FREELY in this Country!”

In his post last month, he said the stickers resulted in “nothing but great positive feedback” from community members, and a thread of comments appeared to support that claim.

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