Rep Corner: Bill Clinton, Arkansas Representative
The rep corner is a chance for Nlets members to discuss what is going on in their states, their experiences with Nlets, and what challenges and opportunities they foresee in the criminal justice information exchange industry moving forward.
Below is a Q&A with Nlets President and Arkansas Rep Bill Clinton.
Can you share a recent information sharing challenge and/or success from Arkansas?
BC: Arkansas is currently involved in a project to move off the state mainframe and onto a client server system. All of our programs are having to be rewritten. Some of the programs were written before I went to work for the agency. In many cases, we’re having to take a new look at our business processes and ask ourselves why we’re doing things the way we are. It’s been a very valuable, if sometimes painful, process, but I think we’ll have a much improved system when it’s complete.
What has been a highlight for you as an Nlets rep?
BC: I think a highlight for me has been being a part of Nlets as we began the effort to share driver’s license photos. We started the project and used the BAF to help encourage states to participate and help move the project along. To me, this has been one of our greatest accomplishments since I’ve been a part of Nlets. I think we can now call it a success.
What upcoming Nlets focus or initiative are you looking forward to and why?
BC: I’m looking forward to exchanging information in fully tagged XML. I think that will add flexibility and capabilities to our systems that we can’t appreciate yet. This is another project that’s been a long time coming.
What was your biggest takeaway from your tenure as Nlets president?
BC: I think my biggest takeaway has been the support I’ve experienced from the Nlets community. The Nlets staff has been very helpful and supportive. Charlie and Leon have always been there for me when I’ve needed guidance and support, and the committee chairs and members have done a fantastic job. Invariably when I’ve asked someone to serve on a committee, or take on some other task, their response has been, “whatever I can do to serve Nlets”. I’ve truly been blessed!
What is one of your favorite Annual Business Meeting memories?
BC: There have been so many great moments over the years. It’s hard to come up with only one. Shortly before I was officially named the Nlets rep for Arkansas, my boss, David Eberdt, allowed me to attend a couple of Annual Business Meetings with him. One was the meeting in 2000 in Washington D.C. We were there over the 4th of July. I’m a bit of history buff, and I’ve always loved visiting our nation’s capital. Being there at that moment in time was extra special.