Irwin Koplan is Chief’s devoted husband of nearly 44 years and the man in charge of securing new clients for JJK. He is the smiling yin to Joan’s eye-rolling yang, and capable of giving as good he gets. “Joan and I, we just jab at each other all the time, but we seem to enjoy it,” Irwin says. “Joan and I are not the average guy and gal, I guess you would say.”
A courtly Georgia native, Irwin is an old-school salesman and has been in the profession his entire adult life. As a young man, he was working for the American Photocopy Equipment in New York City when he and a co-worker friend went into a Gramercy Park pizza joint to get some dinner. “That was when I first set eyes on Joan,” he recalls. “She was behind the counter trying to work the soda machine – she was very attractive. After we went to our table, she brought over this horrible-tasting drink. Anyway, by the time we finished eating, we’d invited her over to our table. I knew that I wanted to see her again, and take her out.” Thirteen months later, they were married.
Irwin was still in the photocopier business as a sole proprietor when JJK was founded in 1984. He helped Joan build the company, but continued to maintain his own shingle for several years. Eventually, though, Irwin decided he’d had enough of toting around 200 and 300-pound copiers on a daily basis, and shifted over to JJK. When JJK added investigative services to its offerings in 1990, Irwin took the course necessary to get his PI license – with Joan, a state-certified firearms trainer, as his instructor. “Naturally, I passed the test with flying colors,” Irwin chuckles. “That was a little home-cooking, there. But man, I took on one case after another and it turned out I just had a knack for it. I surprised myself! And I really enjoyed it. Brian Taylor handles practically all of the PI cases now – I can’t run as fast as I used to.”
With his cheerful candor and masterful, if sometimes unintentional, sense of comic timing, Irwin was responsible for some of the most memorable moments on Season 1 of Small Town Security. Whether he’s discussing his issues in the bathroom or the bedroom, Irwin is utterly without self-consciousness. “Joan sort of taught me that,” he explains. “I’m so used to being embarrassed by her that nothing bothers me anymore.”