Major Ernesto Duarte
Florida Highway Patrol
For Release September 18, 2007:
Effective immediately, Lt. Colonel John Czernis has been appointed Interim Director for the Florida Highway Patrol, succeeding former Colonel Christopher Knight who resigned his position. Colonel Czernis will serve the Florida Highway Patrol until a new director is named.
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.
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, Colonel Czernis moved to Tallahassee and became the Grants, Accreditation and Policy Administrator for the Patrol. In November 1996, Colonel Czernis was promoted to Bureau Chief and served as our agency’s Chief Training Officer.
Two years later, 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. Colonel Czernis’s vast and varied work experience in a multitude of Patrol positions combined with his strong education will serve our agency well.