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Colonel John T. Czernis

Colonel David H. Brierton, Jr.

FHP Director Colonel John T. Czernis

On November 30, 2007, Electra Bustle, Executive Director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, announced that Colonel Czernis was being appointed as Director of the Florida Highway Patrol effective December 1, 2007.

Colonel John Czernis earned a bachelor’s degree in 1981 in criminal justice from Rollins College and a master’s degree in 2005 in public administration. Colonel Czernis is a 30 year veteran of the FHP, who began his career in law enforcement in 1974 with the Vero Beach Police Department before joining the Patrol in 1977.

Czernis served as a trooper in Monroe and Orange counties, a traffic homicide investigator in Orlando, and a first line supervisor in Miami-Dade and Orange counties. In 1994, after his promotion to Major, Czernis moved to Tallahassee and became the Grants, Accreditation and Policy Administrator for the Patrol. In November 1996, Czernis was promoted to Bureau Chief and served as the agency's Chief Training Officer.

After two years, Czernis was reassigned to the Bureau of Investigations as Chief Investigator. In June 2003, he was promoted to Lt. Colonel and served as Deputy Director of Special Operations, including oversight of the FHP Training Academy and the Offices of Leadership and Education, Program Planning, Fleet and Property, Accreditation and Policy, Aviation, Employee Selection and Recruitment, Background Investigations, Polygraph, and Budget. Colonel Czernis’s vast and varied work experience in a multitude of Patrol positions combine with his strong education will serve the agency well.

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Wall of Honor

On November 27, the Department unveiled a new memorial in the lobby of the Neil Kirkman Building. This memorial is dedicated to the 41 Florida Highway Patrol troopers killed in the line of duty from December 1941 to January 2007. The ceremony included the Presentation of Colors by members of the Troop H Color Guard and the Troop H Chaplain gave the invocation. The closing of the ceremony included the unveiling of the Wall of Honor and the posting of the passage “Their duty was to serve, our duty is to remember.” Local news stations WTXL (ABC) and WCTV (NBC) covered the event.

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Joint Truck Safety Enforcement Detail

The Florida Highway Patrol partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Compliance Office (MCCO) on December 18-19, 2007, for a two-day operation to improve traffic safety on Florida highways through intensified traffic law enforcement targeted at commercial motor vehicles. MCCO officers concentrated their enforcement activities in the ten counties where the most fatal truck crashes occurred in 2006 and FHP troopers heightened enforcement efforts on interstates and other major state roads where commercial motor vehicle, speeding and aggressive driving violations are prevalent. 3,993 citations were issued, with FHP issuing 3,798 citations, of which 1,678 were for speed and 261 were for seat belt citations.

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Law Enforcement Inquiry Disaster Recovery

The Department recently completed installation of technology to enable direct connectivity between the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Department’s failover servers at the Shared Resource Center (SRC). This project eliminates technology costs while allowing the Department to maintain critical law enforcement systems during a catastrophic loss of our Department’s Kirkman Data Center.

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Move Over Florida!

The first ever statewide Move Over Florida! enforcement operation kicked off on Monday, June 23 with a Press Conference at the Kirkman Building. Representatives from the Florida Sheriff’s Association, the Florida Police Chief’s Association, the Department of Transportation, the Attorney General’s Office, the State Law Enforcement Chief’s Association, AAA, the towing industry as well as local law enforcement joined FHP to kick off the week long operation, which ran June 23 to June 29. The campaign targeted Move Over law violators in an effort to promote safety for our emergency responders. Tina Lambert, mother of Broward Deputy Ryan Seguin who was killed by a motorist failing to obey the Move Over law, and Trooper John Baker, who has been struck three times while roadside were at the event to discuss the importance of the law. Numerous media outlets, including the AP, were present and offered “ride-alongs” with troopers to experience first-hand what our emergency responders face every day as they serve Florida’s motorists. The event was a tremendous success with all major metro papers running articles along with other daily papers and television news stations running stories throughout the state. Over 40 media outlets reported on the campaign.

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Statewide Honor Guard

August, 20, 2009, The Florida Highway Patrol unveiled its new statewide Honor Guard, which consisted of thirty-seven members. The Honor Guard is divided into three regions - North, Central, and South. Members were recommended by their chain of command and selected by the Colonel.

The first statewide Honor Guard training camp began on August, 20, 2009, at the Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy. The training consisted of ceremonial drills that included facing movements, Manual of Arms for the rifle team, Presentation of Colors, flag folding, funeral and memorial service protocols with plenty of close order drills.

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Lieutenant Colonel David H. Brierton, Jr.

On February 28, 2011, Colonel John Czernis retired. Lieutenant Colonel David Brierton was appointed Director on March 2, 2011. The appointment was made by Julie Jones, Executive Director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

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