ST. CLOUD -- For nearly 20-years the Klinefelter's have owned and operated KEEPRS in St. Cloud and now the family is moving on to its next chapter.

The family chose to sell the chain of law enforcement equipment stores. Jason Klinefelter was one of the owners. He says the business was started as a way to pay tribute to his brother, Brian Klinefelter, who was a St. Joseph police officer that was shot and killed on duty in 1996.

"We were looking for a way to honor his [Brian's] work in the industry. We founded KEEPRS at the time to do that. We wanted to stay connected to the industry but not necessarily be in it and we found that through the distribution of law enforcement products."

KEEPRS (Klinefelter's Enforcement & Emergency Product, Resource and Supply) was founded in 1998. Klinefelter says since they created the business it has grown into three locations, St. Cloud, Roseville and Athens Georgia.

"KEEPRS grew quite rapidly, we had a little bit of a dip during the great recession but we were on the Inc. 5000 [list] for fasted growing small businesses in the United States for nine straight years."

Klinefelter says the law enforcement equipment industry right now is seeing a lot of consolidation and although it wasn't in the works to sell KEEPRS, they got an offer they couldn't refuse.

"We were approached by Galls, a national distributor with 88 stores nationwide. They were interested in having the conversation about acquiring and while the time frame is not necessarily what we dreamed of over the years, the offer to purchase us in this economic climate with all of this consolidation and with them being just a bigger player in the marketplace itself led us to engage in that dialogue with them and ultimately reach an agreement to sell."

Moving forward, Klinefelter says selling the business is a bitter/sweet situation.

"Obviously there's a unique story and passion that goes along with owning this business for the last 19 years. While we're sad to say goodbye to it from a business aspect we still have the Brian Klinefelter Memorial Foundation that we will use to stay engaged with the clientele and remember Brian through that."

KEEPRS was founded by Brian's brothers Jason and Greg Klinefelter as well as his wife Wendy Schneider-Klinefelter-Tragiai. 

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