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CHP Promotes CIO Childs, Names Acting Technology Chief

Chris Childs has been elevated to assistant commissioner for staff, and Assistant Chief April Baxter, who has worked in the department’s Information Management Division, was named acting chief information officer.

The chief information officer for the California Highway Patrol, Chris Childs, has been promoted to the rank of assistant commissioner for staff. As a result, CHP has named a department veteran as acting CIO until the position is filled permanently.
Chris Childs cropped.jpg
Chris Childs

The acting CIO for the department, which has an IT budget of about $100 million, is Assistant Chief April Baxter, who has been with CHP for almost 16 years. The CIO oversees CHP’s Information Management Division (IMD), which includes CHP’s telecom operations ¯ communications for all CHP commands, the CHP’s mobile fleet and 24 communications centers statewide. The CIO also directs CHP’s Computer Crimes Investigations Unit, which investigates computer crimes involving state IT resources.

April Baxter.jpg
April Baxter
Childs, who’s been with the department more than 27 years, held the CIO role for just 16 months before his promotion on Nov. 8. Before he was named to that role, he had served as assistant chief in the Enforcement and Planning Division. He succeeded Chief Scott Howland, who served as CHP’s award-winning CIO for six years before leaving the department in May 2020 and entering the private sector.

In his new role, Childs will provide executive-level oversight of four administrative divisions (Administrative Services, Enforcement and Planning, Information Management, and Personnel and Training) as well as the Office of Employee Safety and Assistance.

Baxter was promoted to the rank of assistant chief over IMD in March 2020, having previously served as a lieutenant and captain since her start with the department in March 2006, according to her LinkedIn profile. She is a graduate of California State University at Fresno, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in criminology.
Dennis Noone is Managing Editor of Techwire. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in the Northern California foothills.