The Freedom From Religion Foundation's co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, called the move "frightening and politically dubious for the local police department to announce to citizens that officers rely on the judgment of a deity rather than on the judgment of the law" in a letter to the sheriff's office.
But Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey told Fox News on Thursday, ”They have a better chance of me waking up thin tomorrow morning than they do of me taking that motto off our cars!"
And Ivey doubled down, joking to "Fox & Friends" Friday morning: "I think we can all see that didn't happen...I didn't wake up thin this morning but I did wake up very proud to be an American and to protect the principles of our great country."
The sheriff said they knew there might be backlash but he said the courts have upheld that "In God We Trust," which is the national and Florida state motto, is not a religious statement as much as it is patriotic and ceremonial.
"It was the right thing to do and we're standing by it," Ivey said. "I personally believe that our country's at a tipping point and if strong patriotic Americans don't start standing up for the great principles of this great country we're going to lose this great country."
Host Pete Hegseth hit the FFRF, questioning how they raise any money, given that each dollar has the motto written on it.
"Last time I checked, it's freedom of religion, not freedom from religion," Hegseth said.
"That's exactly right," Ivey responded. "As I tell everybody when you call 9-1-1, we don't ask you what political party you're affiliated with. We don't ask you if you believe in God or if you don't. We ask you where you're at so we can come save your life."