During the third and final season of the show, which ran from July 2012 through June 2014, it was revealed she had developed a brain tumor. She was hospitalized several times and suffered many side-effects and health issues in the months afterwards, stemming from the surgery and radiation treatment.
“Our lady has left this world,” said her devoted employee and friend Capt. Dennis Starr. “She finally rested and was at peace and ready to move forward.”
“Small Town Security” was an unscripted reality show based in Ringgold, regarding the lives and quirks of the small family-owned private security company, JJK Security. It was produced by Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver from Left/Right Productions for the AMC network.
Koplan, better known as “Chief,” was well-known for her abrasive yet honest and comedic manner, which often created controversy amongst the staff as well as fans. Other members on the show were Capt. Dennis Starr Croft; Irwin Koplan, Joan’s husband; Brian Taylor, office manager, detective, process server and business manager; and Christa Stephens, secretary.
Friends and family will gather today (Friday, April 1) for a graveside service in Dalton, Ga., and Starr said there will also be a Jewish shiva Sunday through Wednesday, April 3-6.
As for the future of JJK Security, Starr said he has “exciting things planned to honor the Chief and keep the company strong for her.”
“I’ve made some major changes and I’m just going to keep moving forward,” he said. “I plan on doing an internship program to help those who want to get into law enforcement or firefighting or enter the police academy. I want to help them get certifications they need and offer scholarships to attend Georgia Northwestern Technical College.”
Starr said he hasn’t pinned down the exact name of the program, but it will definitely be named after Joan and be in her honor.
“I feel like the best way to keep her close and honor her is to simply continue what she started and build on her lifelong efforts,” he said.
Koplan is survived by her husband, Irwin and two daughters.