Say it isn’t so: Guardian Shield is moving out of Beaverton.
As it turns out, even superheroes can’t fight the menace of rapidly rising housing costs, so Shield scored cheaper rent at an apartment complex in Clackamas County.
Beaverton’s own real-life superhero announced on Facebook this week that he’ll be boxing up his spandex red tights, his police baton and his “GS”-emblem ballistic police shield by the end of the year.
Shield still hopes to get back to Beaverton and Aloha for patrols, since he expects to soon have a supermobile, but residents of Oregon City, Canby, Wilsonville and possibly Tualatin have a better chance of seeing him in action when he resumes patrols in early 2016.
“I’m hoping to get around a little more,” he said.
The self-appointed superhero has been conducting foot patrols from his home base off Southwest Farmington Road since the beginning of the year. He did so largely behind-the-scenes, usually eliciting a positive response for his crime-deterring efforts but occasionally getting odd looks and a rare curse, possibly because people didn’t know what a masked man was doing roaming their neighborhood.
Then the Beaverton Valley Times and other media latched on to his story in recent weeks, with two more television stations joining the frenzy this week.
“At this point I would be really surprised if somebody hasn’t heard of me,” said Shield, a 34-year-old Army veteran who asked to remain anonymous.
Shield is still trying to enlist additional help in the form of a loose organization he calls Community Superheroes. He has generated interest but noted that it took him nine years to cobble together enough money to buy his superhero uniform.
“It’s going to take a little time,” he said. “It’s a work in progress.”
Because of that, he plans to keep his patrols confined to the suburbs for now.
“I need a team for Portland,” he explained. “I can’t ‘solo’ Portland.”
Meanwhile, Shield noted that he is transitioning from past work in the fitness industry to life as a community college student. Asked if he’ll study criminal justice, he said he’s leaning more toward business management.
But he promises to shut the books and hit the streets as often as practical, even though the media spotlight is likely to dim.
“I want to stay humble,” he said. “It’s all about the mission. I’ve got to keep my head in the game.”
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