Derrick M. Copeland, CFE

Vice President Chief Security Officer/Facility Manager with The Palmetto Bank in Greenville, S.C.

By Interview by Cora Bullock; photo by Roger Ball
cora-bullock-80x80    I'm a CFE

JulyAug-derrick-copelandCopeland is responsible for maintaining compliance with federal and state laws related to security regulations. He implements security programs that protect the bank's assets and safety of its personnel. Copeland recommends and implements procedures to protect the bank from larcenies, robberies, burglaries and fraud. He also coordinates with an outsourced facility management business partner to oversee all bank-owned and leased properties. 

Always think of victims as if they were close family members. The way fraudsters are targeting the elderly, it could very easily be one of your relatives.

There are two key investigative skills that I have learned throughout the years: be thorough and have patience. In the banking industry, fraud can be so widespread. You can have the latest and greatest technology on the market and still need old-fashioned investigative skills to catch the crooks. 

I have an undergraduate degree in Business Administration (Southern Wesleyan University) and a Master of Arts in Security Management (Webster University). The business degree provides me with the essential analytical skills for all sectors of business and industry, as well as opportunity in a managerial career. With rapid growth and so much competition in the security field, I realized that an advanced degree was essential for my future career goals and would provide additional security management skills.

I knew law enforcement was in my blood because several family members were officers. I joined the Simpsonville, S.C., Police Department in 1992 and was immediately placed with an experienced officer in the on-the-job-training program. Back in 1992, small departments could train a new officer for a couple of months and then send them out on the road. In November of 1992, I graduated from the police academy. After six years in the department, I transferred from uniform patrol to the Criminal Investigative Division. As a new investigator, I worked all of the economic crimes. As I started investigating these cases, I developed a passion for catching "paper hangers." 

Working in law enforcement introduced me to the ACFE. The majority of the bank investigators in the Greenville area had the CFE credential. After I began my career with The Palmetto Bank, my director encouraged me to obtain the CFE credential. 


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