Photo/Story Gallery 2011

Colonel John T. Czernis Retires

Lt. Col. Dawson, Exec. Dir. Jones, Col. Czernis, Lt. Col. Duarte and Lt. Col. BriertonCol. Czernis, Lt. Col. Duarte, Lt. Col. Dawson and Lt. Col. BriertonColonel Czernis began his career in law enforcement in 1974 with the Vero Beach Police Department and joined the Florida Highway Patrol in 1977. He 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, he 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.

Pictured above left  Lt. Col. Silvester Dawson, Exec. Dir. Julie Jones, Col. John Czernis, Lt. Col. Ernesto Duarte and Lt. Col. David Brierton.

After two years, he 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. He was appointed director of the Florida Highway Patrol in December 2007. Colonel Czernis’s vast and varied work experience in a multitude of Patrol positions combine with his strong education served the agency well.

Col. Czernis, his Family, Gov. Scott and Cabinet Col. Czernis and Exec. Dir. Jones Lt. Col. Duarte, Col. Czernis, Lt. Col. Dawson and Lt. Col. Brierton
Pictured left, Governor and Cabinet members recognized Colonel John Czernis for his dedication to public safety for over three decades. Col. Czernis family and co-workers attended the presentation. Pictured center, Colonel Czernis and Executive Director Julie Jones. Pictured right, Lt. Colonel Ernesto Duarte, Colonel Czernis, Lt. Colonel Sylvester Dawson and Lt. Colonel David Brierton. 

Additional Photos

Dear Family and Friends:

Col. CzernisThank you for coming together tonight to recognize my service with the Florida Highway Patrol. Your presence makes this evening a memorable occasion and the memories we share certainly bring much joy to my heart.

To my family, thank you for your love, support, and perseverance over the years. I know that it has not always been easy for you given the nature of the job, the demands of the work, and the time away from home. You have believed in me and my abilities, even when I doubted myself. Thank you for your confidence and patience. Thank you for being my family! To my Patrol family and many friends, thank you for your loyalty and support over the years. Whether we worked together as troopers, or within the extended family of law enforcement and public safety, our common goal was the safety and well-being of the people of our great state. I appreciate and will always remember our discussions, war stories, debates, successes and friendly smiles. As my family and I journey into the next chapter of our lives, we will always remember each of you and your influence on us. Our lives have been enriched by your friendship and we are better for having known you. Thank you for being our friends. I have often said that being Colonel has been a privilege, an honor and a lot of fun. However, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, like being a trooper! And, we are all Troopers first and foremost regardless of the rank we may carry. Be careful and stay safe! Remember, life is too short not to have fun! Sincerely,
Col. John Czernis

FHP Service History

February 15, 1977
August 7, 1977
May 1, 1978
September 6, 1982
December 1, 1983
November 16, 1984
June 30, 1988
October 1, 1989
November 21, 1994
November 15, 1996
May 1, 1998
June 16, 2003
December 1, 2007
February 28, 2011

Date of Employment with FHP
Graduated from FHP Academy and transferred to Troop I (Monroe)
Transferred to Troop D (Orlando) as Trooper
Promoted to Corporal, Troop E (Dade)
Transferred to Troop D (Orlando) as Corporal
Promoted to Sergeant, Troop D (Osceola)
Promoted to Lieutenant, Troop D (Osceola)
Promoted to Captain, Troop D (Kissimmee)
Promoted to Major, Accreditation and Policy (Leon)
Promoted to Chief, FHP Academy (Leon)
Reassigned to Chief of Investigations (Leon)
Promoted to Lt. Colonel of Special Operations (Leon)
Promoted to Director (Leon)