After nearly 30 years with the city of Merriam, Karen Gibson has announced she’s retiring as records clerk for the city police department.
Gibson first began working for the city in April 1990 as a part-time facility supervisor at the community center. She joined the police department two years later, and for the past 27 years has provided a variety of administrative duties for the police department.
Gibson’s last day on the job is March 25. Her retirement announcement follows that of Police Chief Michael Daniels, who is retiring after 32 years.
“Every day was a new day, and I love being able to get in with the investigators when they’re investigating those really intense crimes,” she said. “It was always so interesting. There was a lot of work, but you hoped at the end it would be a good outcome. That was my favorite part of it, I think, is working with the investigators.”
A resident of Merriam for the past 40 years, Gibson said she hopes to travel with her sisters and also spend more time with her 10 grandchildren. First plans: A camping trip and family reunion in Oregon, and then sightseeing with her sisters in Vermont.
During her time with the police department, Gibson volunteered for the Law Enforcement Records Association, which serves police clerks in Johnson County and the greater region surrounding the county by providing records training for clerks. She served the association as its third president from 2004 until February 2019.
“There’s no training for records clerks; you learn it on your own, make friends, so we thought it would be a good resource for records clerks in Johnson County,” she said.
Gibson first worked for Ken Sissom, who was leading the department as police chief and now serves as the city mayor.
“I’ve seen lots of changes, worked for four different chiefs — of course everyone’s different — and it was always a learning curve how they were going to operate,” Gibson said. “I have the utmost respect for all four of them and learned something from each and every one of them.”