After a Three Dog Night concert in 1974, in Tampa, Florida, I had a policeman behind me with his lights on, while we were passing around a joint of marijuana in the car. Paranoia about all police activity was a side benefit of the drug, along with munchies and the 'praying mantis' look. Now, this was more than paranoia, it was real; the four of us had to think quickly or we would be spending some time in jail. As he approached the car, I hoped the smoke had cleared sufficiently. He then informed me that I had been speeding. I agreed with him and I said, "It is true, I know I was. Sir, I was showing off to my friends from Brooksville. I apologize." He had mercy and gave me a warning, and we drove off.
Thanks to a transformed life, I no longer have that paranoia at the sight of a police car. Now I have prayer in my heart and on my lips for them. They put their life out there for all of us, and they deserve our prayers.
Here is a Lent activity: Pray for a particular police force, and notify them on a non-emergency number that you did so. An optional activity is to not avoid a police person, but to walk up to them, look them in the eye and communicate appreciation for them. Then let them know you are praying for them.