Colonel John Czernis
TALLAHASSEE— Lt. Colonel John T. Czernis was named Director of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). The appointment becomes effective December 1, 2007. Czernis currently serves as Interim FHP Director and previously served as the Deputy Director of Special Operations. The appointment was made by Electra Bustle, Executive Director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).
"John Czernis has an impressive record of public service and 30 years of law enforcement experience with the Patrol," said Ms. Bustle. "He has demonstrated keen management insight and excellent skills in working with a wide range of stakeholders. His combination of experience and education make him a tremendous appointment as Colonel of the Florida Highway Patrol. He joins a Governor, Cabinet and agency that are fully committed to ensuring that the priorities of the Patrol are met and ensuring the safety and security of our state."
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.
"It is truly a great honor to be afforded the opportunity to work with the men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol, an agency that is known for its excellence and integrity," Colonel Czernis said.
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.
"I look forward to the challenge and fully commit to upholding the high ethical standards expected of this position,” stated Czernis. “Our leadership team will work hard to set a proactive course for the Patrol in order to fulfill our mission of providing the safest driving environment for the people of Florida."