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Small Town Insecurity: Ringgold reality show gives woman the fame she craves; will it continue?

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Ringgold, Ga., residents Christa Stephens, Irwin Koplan, Joan Koplan, Brian Taylor and Dennis Starr were cast in AMC reality show “Small Town Security. AMC photo Ringgold, Ga., residents Christa Stephens, Irwin Koplan, Joan Koplan, Brian Taylor and Dennis Starr were cast in AMC reality show “Small Town Security. AMC photo
RINGGOLD, GA (Times Free Press) -

Joan Koplan keeps a DVD hidden in her nightstand that very few people have seen.

A chronicle of her first step toward cable fame, the local footage captures an hour-long discussion in the sitting area at JJK Security and Investigations in Ringgold, Ga. The topic is an employee's impending sex change. Dennis — formerly Denise — is talking, in graphic detail, about how sex reassignment surgery works. Elderly Cousin Neal goes on a tear about pubic hair. There is farting and a lot of laughing by Joan, who is thinner and happier than she is now.

That was more than three years ago. Now it's August, post-summer television season, and Joan and the crew are celebrities in a holding pattern. The eight-episode season two of their reality television show, "Small Town Security," has recently finished airing, and the production company and network, AMC, are negotiating money and the show's future. The talks are taking longer than expected, and the weeks reveal Joan as unnerved, worried about returning to small-town obscurity.

Dennis Starr, JJK operations manager; Brian Taylor, the private investigator; Christa Stephens, the secretary; and Irwin, Joan's husband, carry on with business, investigating cheating spouses, patrolling businesses at night and delivering court summons across North Georgia.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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