Karen Tyson is a 30 year veteran of the New York City Correction Department. She worked at AMKC and GRVC prior to her appointment to the COBA Executive Board in 2007. Karen is responsible for the Widows’ and Children’s Fund that assists the children and spouses of Correction Officers who died while on active duty. Since its inception, COBA has distributed over $500,000 to the families of deceased brother and sister Correction Officers. There currently are 100 families being assisted by the fund.
Each year, the money raised at the Annual COBA Awards Dinner is used to provide a check in the amount of $250 to each family of a deceased Correction Officer to help them purchase their Thanksgiving dinner. During the holiday season, a check in the amount of $500 is provided to each eligible child and $250 is provided as a holiday gift to each widow/widower.
Karen is instrumental in overseeing COBA’s involvement in special events such as the Circle of Sisters event at the Jacob Javits Center and the Annual Heritage Feast on Rikers Island. The Heritage Feast allows all the Correction Officers from diverse backgrounds to come together and enjoy each others cuisines i.e. Caribbean, Italian, Latin, Chinese, Greek, Southern, Irish etc. Karen, a native of the Caribbean herself, believes it is important that Correction Officers from all walks of life treat each other like family and support each other both on and off the job.
Karen is also the Coordinator of the Boldest Sports Program that consists of Basketball, Softball, Boxing and Bowling. This program was adopted with the intention of increasing the morale within the Department and helping to promote good sportsmanship.