Officers launch 'Green Hornets' search team

Officers launch 'Green Hornets' search team


by Erica Heartquist, Staff

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 23 at 7:46 PM

PORTLAND -- They do not want to be called 'elite,' but they are pretty unique.

Wednesday, eight members of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office launched a brand-new search and rescue team called the "Green Hornets."

Actually, their official team name is "The Green Hornet Wilderness Law Enforcement Services and Trail Rescue Team."

But, if you wanted to, you could probably call the team a group of incredibly in-shape men who'll find you a lot quicker now if you happen to get lost in the woods.

Next month kicks off the busiest time of the year for hiking in the Columbia Gorge and it's expected to stay packed through September. 

That's where the hornets come in.

"We're the green hornets, that's right," said Captain Monte Reiser with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

There's one captain, one sergeant and six deputies.

All of the team members are with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and all are in outstanding physical shape.

"I do a lot of backcountry skiing, mountain biking, road biking, running, skiing. It's part of all our lifestyles," said Deputy Kent Krumpschmidt, a Green Hornet.

"We have a personal trainer deputy. We have a collegiate 10K track and field runner. We have a college basketball player who played many years of college basketball. I'm an ultra marathon runner and we have another ultra marathon runner," said Capt. Reiser.

In fact, Reiser was training for that ultra marathon when he came up with the idea for the team.

"So I thought, 'Why not combine our passion for running and the outdoors with public safety?'" said Reiser.

This team is equipped and ready at a moment's notice to search for people in danger.

Captain Reiser said in the past, there's been a time issue, a gap of time between their normal response with a search and rescue unit to what the new team is hoping to do.

Right now, volunteer search and rescue teams respond, which can sometimes take hours to assemble.

"It reduces that response time because typically, based upon the fact that we have volunteers in our normal SAR resource contingent, they can take an hour and a half, sometimes two and a half hours to get to the trailhead and get boots on the ground to begin search. This team, however, they are prepared. They're going to have their ready bags and their packs in their patrol cars, at home, ready to go to immediately respond at least in teams of two," said Reiser.

At Horsetail Falls, the exact spot where Wednesday's training was taking place, in late December a teen with autism went missing. He was found safe after several hours of searching.

The hornets hope to cut down response times like that.

"We're out here putting our physical fitness to good use in both providing law enforcement service as well as a search and rescue function," said Reiser.

Reiser said the Multnomah County Commissioners gave them $20,000 this fiscal year for equipment, training and overtime for the response of the calls.

Why the "Green Hornets?"

"The Green Hornet name has been around for many many years at the Sheriff's Office. It began with the motors unit back in the 1960s and 1970s so it's something that we've adopted as a law enforcement trail rescue team. That, and it's kind of catchy," said Reiser.