“To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, 

but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”

Elias Husamudeen


Elias Husamudeen


Appointed Correction Officer working the tiers 1988-1995

Elias started his career in 1988 as a Correction Officer with the New York City Department of Correction.  Elias served in his position as Correction Officer from 1988-1995 working on the first maritime facility (MTF 1) on New York’s East side in Manhattan, George Motchan Detention Center (GMDC) and Anna M. Kross Center (AMKC) both on Rikers Island.

While working in the jail Elias realized that the rights of his fellow Correction Officers were violated on a daily basis.  In 1991 while assigned to Anna M. Kross Center (AMKC) Elias published a newsletter called “Union Watch” which was distributed to members of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association on a monthly basis.

In 1993 Elias joined a group called “The Coalition” which at the time was running to be elected for union office.  Despite the long and hard campaign, which came along with a lot of sacrifices and commitment on his behalf as well as the rest of the members who he stood with, the struggle for a change had begun.

Elected Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer 1995-2010

In 1995 Elias was elected as the Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association of New York City.  As the elected Treasurer Elias became responsible for the finances of an $80 million dollar organization and an 11,500 member union.  As the Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer of the more than $80 million dollar organization, Elias was responsible for developing sound budgets, administering and overseeing the following fund for the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association:

COBA, Inc.,
COBA Security Benefits Fund-Active Members
COBA Security Benefits Fund-Retired Members
COBA Annuity Fund
COBA Widow’s & Children’s Fund
COBA Scholarship Fund
COBA Political Action Fund (PAC)

In this role, Elias carried out the organizations policies regarding the proper management and over sight of all the above funds.  During his tenure, Elias successfully restored fiscal integrity to the COBA Security Benefit Fund-Active after inheriting a $6 million dollar deficit from his predecessor.  In less than three years he was able to improve the cash flow and reduce the deficit of this fund to less than $1.5 million dollars and creating a reserve of $5 million dollars.

In addition, Elias was able to increase the COBA Annuity Fund from $26 million dollars to over $70 million dollars in less than three years.  More than $13 million dollars of this increase deriving from dividends and interest income after detailed restructuring of this fund and the remaining increase coming from negotiation with the City of New York.  With Elias as Treasurer/CFO of the Annuity Fund members of the union earned more in their individual Annuity accounts than they had in the sixteen years prior to his election.  Elias was re-elected to the Position of Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer in 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2008.

Appointed Chief of Staff of Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association 1995-2010

In 1995 in addition to being elected Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer Elias was appointed Chief of Staff of the 11,500 member organization.  As Chief of Staff, he was responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of the Union and answered only to the President of the Union.  As Chief of Staff, he was responsible for 8 Executive Board members, 70 delegates and 15 employees of the Union which included secretaries, bookkeepers, office manager, a receptionist and Union consultants.  He also served as liaison between the Union and Department of Correction.

In April of 2010 he founded and produced COBA Radio – “Real Talk, Real Time”, providing the opportunity for issues of the Correction Officers in New York City to be heard and recognized nationwide, joining the ranks of the few Unions hosting radio shows.

Appointed 1st Vice President of Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association 2010-2016

In 2010 Elias was appointed 1st Vice President of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association by the Executive Board.  Elias served in the appointed position until July 2012 at which time he was elected to the position by an overwhelming vote by the more than 9000 members Union.  As the 1st Vice President of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, Elias became the second in command.

In the position as 1st Vice President Elias was responsible for handling the Office of the Commissioner and the Office of the Chief of the Department.  There are many pivotal changes made in the NYC Department of Correction because of the work and dedication of Mr. Husamudeen and the entire Executive Board, past and present.

In all his years as a Correction Officer and an Executive Board Member, his commitment and dedication to duty is explicit.  He has conducted his responsibilities with integrity and discipline.  Through Elias’ professionalism and work ethic, it is transparent that he is passionate about what he does.  Elias receives great satisfaction serving the members of COBA and being a part of the TEAM that just “Keeps on winning” on behalf of their members.

A seasoned Correction Officer of more than 28 years, Elias Husamudeen has risen in the ranks within the Union to now leading the Union as President.  Throughout his time in the Department of Correction it has always been clear that he is extremely passionate when it comes to improving the lives of his brother & sister officers.  He continues to debate the challenges for the Correction Officer’s New York City’s Boldest with pride and dignity.