At the age of 18, Chris Hermann starts his training to become a police officer with the Bavarian police academy in Eichstätt. Additional training sites were Munich and Dachau. The BePo (police academy and riot police) still wore high boots at the time, which regularly resulted in blisters during the various marches. Comfort was a foreign word. Later, there was an "upgrade” to laced boots. But other than helmets and shields there was no protective equipment.
Based on the violent events on the
West runway riots of Frankfurt
and the experiences with the
police operations during the
large scale demonstrations on the
construction site for the planned
atomic reprocessing plant in
Wackersdorf, the Bavarian
state government founded the
Special Operations Team (USK) as
a special unit for special assignments.
Members of the USK could only be
physically and psychologically
extremely effective officers.
The operations of the USK include
demonstrations, large-scale events,
storming buildings, fighting organized
Videos about the USK BAVARIA
YouTube / BR24: Inside USK - extreme Polizeieinsätze
YouTube / BR24: Inside USK - harte Polizeiausbildung
YouTube / BR24: Inside USK - Spezialkräfte beim G7-Gipfel
Chris Hermann was with the USK
from the very beginning. He was
squad leader/deputy platoon leader
and as bearer of the second Dan in JuJutsu, trainer in self-defense.
The units were in place, but the equipment was lacking. Within the framework of his position, Chris Hermann searched for sources of professional equipment. Face masks and knee and shin guards from the ice hockey industry, upper body protection from motocross, cups from handball... Even the other equipment such as flashlights and batons were in dire need of improvement and holsters for accessories were mainly made of leather. There were no special shops for police equipment. So, the first contacts were made with dealers and manufacturers in the USA, who at that time were 20 years ahead of Germany regarding professional police and security equipment.
Together with his wife Ulrike, a sales specialist from the pharmaceutical industry, the first ideas for the establishment of COP® were developed from his experiences and the first purchases made.
Point Blank, an American manufacturer of bullet-proof vests has a particularly light, flexible vest with high comfort and a protection class similar to the German protection class 1. In cooperation with Chris Hermann, a protective vest was developed that meets the requirements of the German protection class 1 and covers the requirements of the then valid grant program. In Germany at that time there was nothing comparable and the Bavarian police officers could buy a subsidized vest for themselves. Many ordered them from Ulrike and Chris Hermann, who hold the sales rights for this vest. The vest became a top seller.
The COP® idea has now become a sustainable business model. Chris Hermann then decides to leave the Police to concentrate all his efforts on the vision of professional equipment for law enforcement and security services. The COP® company was established. As with so many start-ups, it started in the basement of their own home. There were 800 square feet for office and storage available. The staff initially consisted of just Chris Hermann. But during the “foundation” year, 2 part-time staff were added and additional storage space rented nearby.
Visiting the Shot Show, the world's most important professional trade show for police, hunting and the outdoors in the USA, is an absolute MUST for expanding the product range of COP. Chris Hermann visited for the first time in 1997, and every year thereafter. Many of the business relationships with the most important manufacturers and dealers were made there and continue to this day.
Chris Hermann knows the requirements for German police equipment to a tee. And even the American products don't fulfil all of these or are too tailored to the American market. Such as, the standard belt width in the USA, e.g., 58 mm - is 45 or 50 mm in Germany. Holsters for German service weapons are available on the US market in a very limited number. COP® therefore decides to create its own product group in which the ideas of Chris Hermann and customer recommendations for improvement can be realized quickly and without problems. Thus, products were created in the most varied categories, such as service bags, pistol holsters, accessory holsters, protective equipment, clothing... Contacts were made with many suppliers who are still involved today
The IWA was then one of the most important professional trade shows for hunting and shooting sports, archery, hiking and animal watching and through the product palette, was automatically a contact point for public authorities. In the interim, it is also a proper specialist trade shows for security services with their own halls. COP® first exhibited there in 1998 and has been a regular participant ever since.
The great success of COP® on the market, the internationalization of business relationships and the increasing number of public authority customers required more professionalism in management. Ulrike Hermann leaves the pharmaceutical industry and dives full time into COP. She manages sales and human resources.
Meanwhile there was too little space at COP. COP® moves to Oberweilenbach and currently has over 9000 square feet of office and warehouse space. So the conditions are met for superb delivery capacity and short delivery times.
The Bavarian police force wants a modern, new safety holster. They search for the most suitable holster using a public tender procedure. The winner is an American safety holster made of nylon together with a nylon belt and additional accessory holsters made of nylon. COP® equips the entire Bavarian police force with these.
Very early on, it became clear to Chris Hermann that plastics and laminates will be the future of holster technology. Significantly more stable and easier to process, they will replace leather and nylon in professional use. The leading global manufacturer of safety holsters, SAFARILAND, was gained as a partner and introduced onto the professional public authority market in Germany. Then many of Chris Hermann's ideas flowed into the holsters and equipment from SAFARILAND and are the basis for later success. So today, safety holsters from SAFARILAND/COP® are market leaders with law enforcement and security services.
COP® was first to introduce combat boots from Original SWAT to the “private” German public law enforcement and military market. Lightweight and comfortable The idea is to have very lightweight and comfortable combat boots as an alternative to service footwear.
Everyday equipment for deployment is one of the fundamental principles of COP. This certainly includes equipment holders with rolling mechanisms. With the innovative products from GearKeeper, COP® sets another standard on the public services market.
Another milestone at COP. Our first store is opened. In the Bavarian capital of Munich. The shop manager then as now is Stefan Huber.
Very early on, COP® recognized that people's buying habits would change. The customer should be able to buy COP® products on any day of the week, day or night. The webshop goes online and delivery logistics established.
The COP® warehouse is bursting at the seams. An additional warehouse was erected on the company premises with an additional 5000 square feet of warehouse space and a high-bay warehouse with 420 palette spaces.
Despite the webshop, COP® wanted to not only give its customers the opportunity to virtually view its products, but also to try them out and see them live, and further develops the shop range. Shops were opened in Leipzig and Berlin.
Adidas continued the idea of a combat boot with sport shoe functionality and brings out the improved version of the "Ur-GSG9 boot". COP® has been a dealer since 2008.
Another Great in the area of public service clothing brings its products from the Tactical Line to market in Germany with the aid of COP®. Under Armour®!
COP® customers should be able to enjoy optimized shopping from anywhere. That's the goal of the mobile version of the COP® online shop for smartphones or tablets if they are online.
COP® is the professional home of over 30 people. Hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers have been supplied with high-quality equipment and clothing since it was founded. Customers can purchase the goods in one of the four shops or online or at AMAZON around the clock. Approximately 600,000 articles are in stock in the central warehouse. And COP® is always working on improving its products and shopping options for its customers.