Harry Reid backs military gear to local police

“The issue is this: Whether we should we allow surplus equipment the military has to go to police departments. I say yes. We have police departments all over the country, including those in Nevada, who are desperate for more resources. And the mere fact that you have the equipment doesn’t mean that you have to use it,” Reid said in a joint interview with Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller that was taped on Monday night.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said that the Senate will examine the 1033 program as part of this year’s pending defense authorization bill, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said last week that the United States “must demilitarize the police.” Previous congressional efforts, including one in the House this year, have fallen short.

Heller said he’s inclined to support Paul’s position.