25 years of law enforcement experience
Experienced Homicide Detective
Cold Case Homicide Consulting
Private and Corporate Investigator
Founder & CEO – Coppins Investigative & Security Group, Inc. – 1999
International Police Advisor – US State Department – Assignment Iraq
International Police Trainer – US State Department – Assignment Iraq
Senior Criminal Investigations Advisor – US State Department – Assignment Iraq
Certified – Dignitary and VIP Close Protection Agent – High Risk Environments
Certified – Police Public Relations and Public Information Officer
Certified – SWAT and Hostage Rescue
US State Department – FBI Security Clearance
3rd Degree Black Belt
Certified Martial Arts Instructor
Cross trained in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Krav Maga, Hapkido, Aikido, and Jiu-Jitsu
Certified Close Quarter Combat – Instructor
Certified FSA – Forensic Statement Analysis
Certified VSA – Voice Stress Analysis
Major Crimes Detective (RET)
Brett Coppins was first certified as a police officer in Michigan in 1982, after obtaining 407 criminal justice and law enforcement training hours. He was then hired by the Benton HarborPolice Department in Michigan. By 1982, Benton Harbor was already considered the most dangerous city in the US, which resulted in a near total loss of all businesses. The financial losses led to city employee layoffs and a major reduction in sworn police officers. The remaining 19 police officers of the Benton Harbor Police Department would acquire a tremendous amount of experience regarding crime and public safety.
In 1985, Brett attended the Michigan State Police Supervisor Development School, in order to become a shift supervisor. In 1986, he left the Benton Harbor Police Department to become a police officer in his home state of Indiana. From 1986 until 2006, he was a police officer for the city of Elkhart, Indiana. During that time, he spent 17 years in [CID] the Criminal Investigations Division, 14 years of which, investigating major crimes including burglary, rape, arson, aggravated assaults, and robbery-homicide.
The 1988 murder of his own brother in South Bend, Indiana, would give him a deep personal understanding of the pain and grief felt by families of murder victims. This resulted in a developed passion in Brett to understand why some people commit violent crimes. His grief fueled him toward perfecting the Reid Method of Interrogation.
Over his many years in CID, he would strive to master rapport building, while methodically and strategically interviewing and interrogating thousands of people, hundreds of which were violent offenders; each with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of how and why they commit crimes. This extensive, first-hand knowledge of criminology, with a focus on how and why criminals do what they do, helped Brett develop a deep understanding of crime prevention. Understanding what criminals think before they take their first steps towards actually committing the crime, is a critical component of true-crime prevention.
By 1999, Brett began to notice a service gap where police could not assist potential victims until a crime was committed; an unfortunate situation created by existing laws and a lack of police department manpower. So, in 2006, Brett retired to operate Coppins Investigative & Security Group, Inc, a company he founded with a deep desire to assist and consult the private sector with highly skilled, highly focused, private investigative, and private security support.
While taking on new clients, Brett accepted a contract serving the US State Department in 2008 as an International Police Advisor and he was assigned to Iraq. Between 2008 until 2011, he was promoted twice to a Senior Criminal Investigations Advisor serving the US State Department. The assignment he was most proud of, was when he was tasked to develop specific training, aimed at stopping previously accepted interrogation practices by Iraqi investigators and the Iraqi military.
He developed his training which he called Interview and Interrogation Methods in a Democracy. Brett and his interpreter, protected by the Kurdish Peshmerga Military, then trained Kurdish and Iraqi investigators throughout Mosul and Kurdistan, Iraq. Brett has obtained numerous service awards over the years since leaving police work. He has also continued to train in his chosen profession, which has served to make him a more rounded individual in business, leadership, policing, investigations, and private security.
About Coppins Investigative & Security Group
For over 38 years, Brett Coppins has been involved with police work, criminal investigations and private investigations. Brett has been a certified police officer since 1982. He served in Benton Harbor, Michigan as a uniform police officer and uniform shift supervisor until 1986. From 1986 until 2006, he was a police officer for the City of Elkhart, Indiana. There he first served in the Countywide Drug Task Force as the unit supervisor, then later transferred to the detective bureau where he spent 14 years investigating crimes such as…
assault, burglary, arson, rape, robbery and homicide. Toward the end of his career he spent two years as the Public Relations and Public Information Officer. He retired from the Elkhart Police Department in 2006 to run his private investigation firm. From 2008 until 2011 he served as a contractor to the US – State Department assigned to Iraq. After completing his first contract, he was promoted to a Senior Criminal Investigations Advisor where he served in northern Iraq; training and advising Iraqi Investigators and Intelligence units and investigating criminal actions. He ended this mission in 2011. He now runs the daily operations at CIG. In 2015 Brett began volunteering with other retired homicide detectives with the Saint Joseph County Metro Homicide – Cold Case Unit.