In the film Super 8 there is a scene where the kids are filming in front of a house being searched by the army. The boy's father (the Sheriff) shows up and puts the boy in the back of his police car. The Sheriff then walks up to the army (captain?) who is in charge and asks about why his trucks are sweeping the town, then the army guy says they will be out of the way shortly, and the Sheriff responses with "You wouldn't mind me contacting D.C. and talk to some friends about Walking Distance".
The scene ends not explaining anything more.
What is the Sheriff referring to? and what did I miss before this that referenced this term?