Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, asked Tuesday about lingering concerns over the Capitol Police Department's handling of a controversial State of the Union night car chase , said the force does a "masterful job."
The Nevada Democrat, who put himself through law school working as a Capitol Police officer, called himself a "stalwart defender and protector" of the force, saying they have "a job that is very, very difficult. "I try not to be critical — if I am critical it’s constructive in nature, and I’m not going to be picking apart something that’s, 'Somebody doesn’t like the chief or the sergeant at arms.' I’m not going to get into that," Reid said.
Reid offered his support to Chief Kim C. Dine. He also said he backs Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin, the man Majority Leader Mitch McConnell selected for the post , and Drew Willison, the chamber's former chief law enforcement officer , who is rumored to be taking over as Reid's chief of staff.
"I’m for a strong Capitol Police," Reid continued, during his weekly briefing. "We need to give them more resources, rather than less."
During the exchange, Reid boasted about the badge he wore while guarding the Capitol, usually on a night shift. Reid still displays the relic in the conference room of his office.
"Wasn't that long ago," Reid quipped to CQ Roll Call. "My badge was 369."
Reid has said he didn’t do anything particularly dangerous when he was a police officer. "The most dangerous thing I did was direct traffic out on Constitution Avenue," he said in a 2014 floor speech.
Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report. Related: Capitol Police Chief’s Leadership Questioned Capitol Police Ordered Not to Arrest Driver in SOTU Car Chase Drew Willison, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms With a City Manager’s Touch The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.