involved developing homeland security partnerships, were keys to his appointment.
Both San Diego and Phoenix benefit from an atmosphere of collaboration developed by leaders who understood the value in this approach.
"From experiences I hear, it clearly starts at the top," Murphy said. "The city manager here, who is the CEO equivalent, sets the expectation that this is how the city operates."
Neff said approaching the city manager, mayor or other leaders should be a priority for a CIO who is not involved in homeland security planning.
"You have to find your hook," Neff said. "You always want to start with your mayor or city manager and see if they get it. If it's not a high enough priority on their list then you need to work your way down. It's going to take longer, but it's a way to make it happen."
Roper also said a cultural evolution is taking place, albeit slowly, where safeguarding network infrastructure is gaining the same importance as protecting key pieces of physical infrastructure. The CIO is in a good position to lead those efforts.
"Even at the state and federal levels the idea of a network infrastructure has just recently become a part of the homeland security focus," Roper said. "In the past, it has not been, and it's somewhat missed in terms of discussion. The CIO, if they are going to play a major role in technology initiatives, is going to have to be responsible for initiating those discussions."
Murphy concurred said that there is more to the business of homeland security than "law and order sort of things." Issues such as business continuity also must be considered.
How, for example, would a jurisdiction cope with the destruction of the office that issues building permits? "What would the city or the entity do to get back up and running, or what would be the business resumption issues that people would look at?" Murphy said. "I would guess [public safety people] wouldn't automatically think about things we worry about in terms of systems and infrastructure issues, and making sure that we have, for instance, access to GIS maps to help them make decisions."
San Diego's Arellano believes it's natural for the CIO to be involved in this kind of activity. As one of four deputy city managers and acting CIO, Arellano plays a key role in the city's homeland security plans. That means overseeing protection of the city's infrastructure, including physical infrastructure and data networks.
In San Diego, police, fire, water and sewer personnel must follow certain procedures in response to a heightened alert status as defined by the federal government's color-coded system.
"What does that mean for the rest of the agency and the city, and how do you communicate that?" Arellano said. "What ends up happening is someone has to put in place processes, so the rest of the city employees know what it means when we go to orange, if it means anything at all."
He's floating an initiative to create a citywide process for informing city employees outside the public safety arena how to respond to a heightened alert. "Right now, what we do for the rest of the city employees is keep them advised in an ad hoc manner on what they should be doing," Arellano said. "I'd like to put in place a system that, if we escalate, citywide people can refer to a cheat sheet that tells them what they can be doing, such as limiting access to certain buildings."
Cooperation and Interoperability
That kind of cooperation requires both leadership and technological interoperability, according to Atlanta's Simama, who is in charge of developing the city's interoperable wireless network.