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About the Commission

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The Denver Civil Service Commission was established in 1904. We are an independent agency overseen by a Board of Commissioners and governed by the City Charter and Commission rules. The Board of Commissioners is composed of five civilian members. The Mayor appoints two members; City Council appoints two members; and one member is nominated by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the City Council, and is appointed by ordinance. Commissioners are compensated for each meeting or official function attended. The Commissioners oversee the administrative functions of the Executive Director, who supervises a staff of professional, technical, and clerical employees, in addition to Background Investigators. By City Charter, the duties and responsibilities of the Civil Service Commission include:

  • Foster and maintain a merit personnel system for the classified service of the Denver Police and Fire Departments;
  • Adopting and enforcing rules related to Charter mandated duties, powers and responsibilities;
  • Examining, screening and certifying applicants for original appointment to the Classified Service within the Denver Police and Fire Departments;
  • Examining and certifying candidates for promotional appointment to the Classified Service within the Denver Police and Fire Departments;
  • Hearing disciplinary appeals of classified members; and
  • Conducting investigations into matters involving the administration and enforcement of the Charter and Commission Rules.


The Commission will adhere to the City Charter, the City’s Code of Ethics, and we will endeavor to certify the best qualified candidates for employment and promotions that represent the diversity of the community we serve. This will enable the Commission to not only meet but exceed our responsibilities to the Mayor, City Council, Denver Police and Fire Departments, respective unions, employee organizations and the Citizens of Denver.

The Denver Civil Service Commission through its appointed Commissioners, Executive Director and respected staff do hereby affirm our Mission Statement.


The Commission is responsible for administering the testing process for entry-level and promotional positions within the Denver Police and Fire Departments, policy administration, and hearing disciplinary appeals of classified members.

Effective January 16, 2009

It is the policy of the Civil Service Commission (“Commission”) that its employees, contract employees, temporary workers, and applicants for employment or promotion with the Commission or Classified Service of the Denver Fire Department or Denver Police Department have a right to be free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based upon actual or perceived race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, age, gender/sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or caregiver status), marital status, military status, religion, political affiliation, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law or regulation.

  1. Examples of conduct that could violate this policy include but are not limited to:
    1. Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory comments, slurs, unwanted sexual advances, invitations, or comments;
    2. Visual conduct such as derogatory posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings, or gestures;
    3. Physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, blocking normal movement, or interfering with work directed at a person because of a protected basis;
    4. Threats or demands to submit to sexual requests in order to keep a job or avoid some other negative consequence, and offers of job benefits in return for sexual favors;
    5. Basing an employment decision (such as hiring, promotion, discipline, pay increase, job assignment, or termination) on any of the protected categories identified above; and
    6. Retaliation for good faith reporting, opposing, or otherwise participating in a complaint or investigation process concerning potential violations of this policy. 

  2. Individuals who believe they are being subjected to prohibited discrimination or harassment are strongly encouraged to make it clear to the offending employee that such behavior is offensive and should be discontinued. 

  3. Any alleged violations of this policy should be promptly reported to any of the following:
    1. The Executive Director of the Commission;
    2. The supervisor of the Commission’s Human Resources unit;
    3. Any member of the Board of Commissioners; or
    4. The Executive Director of the City’s Agency for Human Rights and Community Relations. The HRCR will present the matter to the City Attorney’s Office (specifically, the Litigation Section’s Employment Law group), for further investigative action.

    A report or complaint of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation may be made verbally or in writing. Any person reporting a potential violation of this policy or otherwise participating in the complaint or investigation process should understand that confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible but that absolute confidentiality and anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

  4. If the supervisor of the Human Resources unit, the Executive Director of the Commission, or any member of the Board of Commissioners becomes aware, by any formal or informal means, of possible discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, such person must take prompt, reasonable actions to stop any prohibited behavior. Additionally, the supervisor of the Human Resources unit or the Executive Director of the Commission must promptly report any information concerning the possible prohibited behavior to the Board of Commissioners.

  5. The Commission maintains “zero tolerance” regarding violations of this policy, meaning the Commission will not knowingly tolerate acts of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Allegations about potential violations of this policy will be taken seriously and the Commission will promptly undertake reasonable steps to address all allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. If an investigation is deemed necessary, it will be conducted promptly, thoroughly, and impartially. Appropriate actions may include, but are not limited to, discipline (up to and including termination), training, mediation, or other effective remedial action commensurate with the severity of the offense and any such actions will occur as soon as practicable for even a single violation of the policy.

  6. Retaliation is strictly prohibited against any employee or applicant who has in good faith:
    1. Opposed conduct that potentially violates this policy, including but not limited to making a complaint or protest on behalf of another individual;
    2. Reported conduct that the employee experienced or observed and reasonably believes to constitute a potential violation of this policy; or
    3. Assisted or participated in an investigation, claim, lawsuit, or hearing concerning a complaint of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. This includes but is not limited to making a report or complaint or providing a witness interview during an investigation.

    Retaliation is conduct taken against an employee or applicant because the employee or applicant has engaged in any of the above-listed protected activities. Retaliation can include but is not limited to such acts as disciplining an employee, giving an employee a negative performance evaluation, refusing to recommend an individual for a benefit for which he or she qualifies, giving an employee a less desirable job assignment, spreading rumors about an individual, encouraging hostility from co-workers, and escalating harassment. Any Commission employee engaging in or encouraging retaliation will be subject to appropriate disciplinary actions.

Commission Members

Commission Director Earl Peterson

Earl E. Peterson

Mr. Peterson has served as Executive Director since November 2000.  Prior to this position he was in the private sector for over 19 years with Champion International Corporation, Nationwide Papers Division as Operations Manager, Administration Manager and Marketing Manager.  Mr. Peterson is a graduate of the State University College of Arts and Science, Geneseo, New York, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Science.

Commission President Neal Berlin

Neal Berlin, President

Neal G. Berlin has served continuously since being appointed by the City Council in January 2007. For many years he served citizens as a city manager in communities, including Ann Arbor, Michigan; Arvada, Colorado; Iowa City, Iowa, and Hanover, New Hampshire. Major responsibilities included oversight of police and fire operations. His primary professional interests are organizational change, personnel administration, responsiveness to citizens, prudent financial management, and consensus building.    

Commissioner Berlin received a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Michigan, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Illinois Wesleyan University.  

 He has undertaken additional academic work at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, American University, the University of Colorado and the University of Denver.   

Commissioner Berlin served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Developmental Disabilities Resource Center for many years, seeking to improve the lives of persons challenged with developmental disabilities.  He is a council member of the Unity Spiritual Center of Denver.  


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Commissioner Murray

Sylvia (Niecy)Murray, Commissioner

Commissioner Joseph Sandoval

Joseph G. Sandoval, Esq., Commissioner

Beginning as a police officer for the City of Arvada in 1967, retired Professor Joseph G. Sandoval has worked in the area of public safety throughout his professional career.  He worked as an attorney for approximately 20 years.  Working in the area of police-community relations for over 45 years, he was involved in the process for establishing the Public Safety Review Commission and the Citizen Oversight Board, as well as the Office of Independent Monitor.  He served as Chair of the Public Safety Review Commission and was the first Chair of the Citizen Oversight Board.  He has made presentations on review of police and police-community relations at national conferences.  He is a retired faculty member, after 42 years with the Criminal Justice and Criminology Department, at Metropolitan State University of Denver.  He writes weekly faith-based commentaries; he also writes on family history with articles published in the Colorado Hispanic Genealogical Journal.  Mayor Michael Hancock appointed Commissioner Sandoval in 2015.  

Commissioner Larry Trujillo

Larry D. Trujillo, Commissioner

In August 2003, Mr. Trujillo was appointed by Mayor John Hickenlooper, to the position of Chief of the Denver Fire Department, responsible for one of the largest fire departments in the country.  After 9/11, Mr. Trujillo assisted in raising over $2 million for the New York Firefighters Emergency Relief Fund. He was also a very active member of the Firefighters Incorporated for Racial Equality (F.I.R.E).  In August 2007, after 25 years of service, Mr. Trujillo retired from the Denver Fire Department. Appointed as Director of Homeland Security in 2010 by Governor Ritter, he remained in that position for one more year with Governor Hickenlooper.

In addition to currently serving as a Eucharistic Minister for Guardian Angel Church, Mr. Trujillo has made significant community contributions. He is a board member and or committee member for the following organizations: Denver’s Latino Commission, LAEF (Latin American Education Foundation), American Heart Association, La Clinica Tepeyac and La Escuela Tlatelolco, and the Mark Langvardt Memorial Tournament for Mount St. Vincent Home. Mr. Trujillo attended the University of Northern Colorado and Metropolitan State University. He is bilingual, and holds numerous certifications. He is a Real Estate Broker for Modern Real Estate, the owner of LDT Consulting, LLC, and Managing Partner of CovertaCard, LLC. He was appointed Commissioner by Mayor Michael Hancock in 2015.




Contact Us

Denver Civil Service Commission
Denver Post Building
101 W Colfax Ave 7th Floor
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (720) 913-3370
Fax: (720) 913-3373

    Office Hours:
    Monday - Friday
    7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    All visitors are subject to security screening.


    Mailing address:

    Denver Civil Service Commission
    201 W. Colfax Ave Dept. 1208
    Denver, CO 80202




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