Photo/Story Gallery 2009

Florida Highway Patrol Promotes Three to Major

Major Ramil, Major Williams and Major Saucedo cut the cake.Lt. Col. Dawson, Major Saucedo, Major Ramil, HSMV Exec. Dir. Bustle, Major Williams, Col. Czernis, Lt. Col. Brierton and Lt. Col. DuarteThree of the Florida Highway Patrol’s troops recently gained new leadership as new troop commanders took the reins in Troops D, L and K.

On July 7, FHP Director, Colonel John Czernis, promoted Cindy Williams, Aurelio Luis Ramil and Joseph Saucedo to the rank of major, as they prepared for their new role as troop commanders.

During the ceremony held at the headquarters building in Tallahassee, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Electra Theodorides-Bustle spoke to the crowd and encouraged the new commanders to, “always choose right over wrong, truth over popularity, and ethics over convenience.”

Pictured above left: Lt. Col. Silvester Dawson, Major Joseph Saucedo, Major Aurelio Luis Ramil, HSMV Exec. Dir. Electra Bustle, Major Cindy Williams, Col. John Czernis, Lt. Col. David Brierton and Lt. Col. Ernesto Duarte.

Maj. Cindy WilliamsAs commander of Troop D, Major Cindy Williams oversees the Patrol’s operations in central Florida. Prior to her promotion, Williams led operations in Troop C’s Lakeland district as district commander since November 2006. She began her career with FHP in Orlando, where she spent 15 years after graduating from the 76th recruit class in 1986. Her return to Troop D will be both a homecoming and a milestone, as Williams will be the first woman to command Troop D.

Williams holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Valencia Community College, and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida. She graduated from the 224th session of the FBI National Academy in 2006. The Patrol has recognized her for numerous years of commitment to removing impaired drivers from the roads.

Maj. Aurelio “Luis” RamilAs commander of Troop L, Major Aurelio “Luis” Ramil oversees the Patrol’s operations in southeast Florida. Prior to his promotion, Ramil led operations in Troop L’s Lake Worth district as district commander since 2003. Ramil began his career with the Patrol in Miami after graduating at the top of the 77th recruit class in 1986. Since then, he has moved up through the ranks in Miami and West Palm Beach, and has been a supervisor for nearly 19 years.

Ramil is trained in dignitary protection services and has represented Florida as an assessor for other states’ law enforcement promotion boards. Ramil also speaks fluent Spanish. Before joining FHP’s ranks, Ramil served honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years.

Maj. Joseph SaucedoAs commander of Troop K, Major Joseph Saucedo oversees the Patrol’s operations on the Florida Turnpike. Prior to his promotion, Saucedo led operations in Troop D’s Orlando district as district commander since 2005. Saucedo began his career with the Florida Highway Patrol in Fort Myers after graduating from the 88th recruit class in 1995. Since then, he has moved up through the ranks spending most of his career in Orlando and Fort Myers.

Saucedo holds an associate degree in engineering science from Nassau Community College in Garden City, N.Y., and a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a member of FHP’s Subject Matter Expert Committee, which creates the promotional exams and assessment topics for the ranks of corporal, sergeant, lieutenant and captain.

Maj. Brent CoatesIn addition to the three new majors, Troop F also has had a recent change of command. Major Brent Coates is now troop commander overseeing operations in southwest Florida.

Coates has been a major since December 2007 when he became troop commander of Troop K. Coates began his career with FHP in Miami after graduating from the 68th recruit class in 1983. Since then, he has moved up through the ranks in Fort Pierce, Palatka, and the academy in Tallahassee.

Coates holds a bachelor’s degree in professional studies from Barry University in Miami. He is a member of FLHSMV’S 11th Management Fellows Class and became the first member of the Patrol to become a Certified Public Manager in 2006. He has received numerous awards for his law enforcement work and is very active in his community and Rotary International.

“The new commanders have all demonstrated they are ready to take the next step in their careers, which requires a great amount of responsibility,” said Czernis. “I have full confidence in their abilities to lead their assigned troops.”