Nlets Representative Spotlight - Joe Mandala

September 30, 2021

Welcome to the second edition of the Nlets Representative Spotlight, where we highlight the incredible work that Nlets representatives are doing.

Today, meet Joe Mandala of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. He not only serves as an Nlets representative, but also our 1st Vice President and our Constitution and Bylaws Committee Chair. He's been the Nlets representative for Kansas since 2014.

Q: If you had to describe your role as an Nlets representative in one sentence, what would you say? 

A: I represent the public safety agencies of Kansas on the governing Council for the International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets), and serve the needs of those stakeholders in improving public safety information sharing in Kansas and between all member jurisdictions.

Q: What has been the most impactful experience you've had working with Nlets? 

A: I think that being asked to serve as the Chair of the Technical Operations Committee was a real wake-up call for me, and made me realize that we all have a responsibility to serve in ways that we are asked to.  I have learned that it is often the wisdom and perception of others that shows us where we can serve best.

Q: Can you share one success story where Nlets was used in your state/agency? 

A: The access to information that Nlets provides on a daily basis to agencies in my state is fundamental to public safety operations.  Trying to pick one success story out of all of the daily success stories involved in public safety in an entire state (even Kansas) would be to exclude every other deserving success story.  I will instead say that without the ability that Nlets provides to share information with our partner jurisdictions, it would be much more difficult for public safety agencies to perform their missions in Kansas.

Q: What is one word you would use to describe Nlets? Why? 

A: Access – There is the obvious; that Nlets provides appropriate access to public safety information for a broad range of agencies and users.  However, this word also describes something critically important about Nlets as an organization.  Nlets relies on its people and its partners to do the excellent job that it does.  The organization provides access to peers in other jurisdictions, to partner organizations and providers, to national and international information sources, and to experts who can help us in many ways.  This access, both technical and personal, provides a value that is hard to quantify, and even harder to replace.