West Texas county to remove cross decals from patrol cars

Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson

ALPINE, Texas (AP) - Decals of crosses will be removed from a West Texas county's patrol vehicles to settle a lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The Brewster County Commission has agreed to the settlement with the Wisconsin-based Foundation and two atheist members. The group on March 2 sued to challenge having Christian religious symbols on patrol vehicles.

Commissioners in late March approved a policy banning political, religious, commercial and personal symbols from government vehicles.

Donated cross stickers began showing up on Brewster County patrol vehicles in 2015. Sheriff Ronny Dodson has said the decals weren't about religious preference but that deputies should "ask for all of the help" they could get.

Commissioners last week approved the settlement and agreed to pay about $22,000 for the Foundation's legal fees and court costs.

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