New Mexico CIO sees innovation opportunities along border

Darryl Ackley discusses the challenges facing New Mexico, as well as the opportunities for learning that come from working with federal agencies.

As the chief information officer of a state that borders Mexico, Darryl Ackley doesn’t hesitate to admit that New Mexico operates in a different environment than most other states. But Ackley believes it offers his state a unique opportunity for innovation.

New Mexico is in the midst of constructing a public safety broadband network as part of a First Responder Network Authority “Early Builders” project. Much of the work occurs right along the border.

The effort is “one of the first in the country,” he said, adding that it presents the state with the opportunity to learn from how federal agencies in the area use the new technology. In particular, Ackley believes his department will work closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection divisions.

“We can start to evaluate how we can have some fusion from those various sensors, bodyworn [cameras], whatever they are,” Ackley told StateScoop in April at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers midyear conference. “That’s a modernization effort from a public safety communications effort, but it has that side effect of being Internet of Things-ish.”