About the Commission

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.


Table Table of Contents 08/08/2012  
Rule 1 Definitions 04/15/2011 04/15/2011
Rule 2 Organization 12/12/2005 12/12/2005
Rule 3 Qualifications for Original Appointment 04/15/2011 04/15/2011
Rule 4 Applications for Original Appointment 12/05/2000 06/30/2005
Rule 5 Examination, Screening and Other Requirements for Original Appointment 11/01/2007 12/23/2008
Rule 6 Promotional Examinations and Requirements 05/24/2005 12/23/2008
Rule 7 Examination Lists and Eligible Registers 11/01/2007 12/23/2008
Rule 8 Requisition, Certification and Appointment 08/15/2005 08/15/2005
Rule 9 Probation 06/01/2005 12/23/2008
Rule 10 Classified Service Ranks and Grades 05/24/2005 06/30/2005
Rule 11 Reduction of Force or Rank, Leave of Absence, Resignation, Reemployment, Return to Duty 12/27/1998 06/30/2005
Rule 12 Disqualification and Disciplinary Appeals, Hearings and Procedures 05/12/2008 05/13/2008
Rule 12* Disqualification and Disciplinary Appeals, Hearings and Procedures 03/09/2013 03/09/2013
Rule 13 Records and Reports 04/23/1998 06/30/2005
Rule 14 Hearing Officer Selection and Qualifications 08/08/2012 08/08/2012
Rule 15 Examinations 02/19/2005 06/30/2005
Rule 16 Public Safety Cadets 04/23/1998 06/30/2005
Rule 17 Original Appointment – Special Categories 05/24/2005 06/30/2005
Rule 18 Validity of Rules 04/23/1998 06/30/2005

*This newest version of Rule 12 is applicable only to disciplinary or disqualification appeals initially filed on or aster March 9, 2013.

Commission Members

Civil Service Commission Executive Director

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.

Cecilia Mascarenas, President

As a Mayoral appointee, Cecilia Mascarenas was first appointed to the Commission in February 2002.  Commissioner Mascarenas holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Goshen College in Indiana and an Associate of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Hesston College in Kansas.  She enjoyed a 30-year career as a Probation Officer and Probation Administrator for the Denver Juvenile Court.  She is a former Governor appointee to the Colorado Board of Parole and a former Mayoral appointee to the Public Safety Review Commission.  She served on the District Attorney’s Victims Compensation Board and now serves on the D.A.’s Justice Council. She serves on the Board of Directors of Friends of the Haven and the Denver Medical Center Emergency Medical Services Council.  She served as a member of the Dept. of Public Safety’s Community Policing Institute, Governor’s Community Corrections Council, Governor’s Justice Assistance Grant Board, Mayor’s Public Safety Infrastructure Taskforce Committee, and Interim Deputy Manager of the Family and Children’s Division at the Denver Dept. of Human Services.  She has served on community boards: Urban Peak, Partners, and Peer Assistance.  Her term expires 12/31/2014.

Neal Berlin, Vice President

As a City Council appointee, Neal G. Berlin was first appointed to the Commission in January 2007. For over 35 years he served local governments as a city manager; including Ann Arbor, Michigan; Arvada, Colorado; Iowa City, Iowa and Hanover, New Hampshire.  Major responsibilities included oversight of Police and Fire operations and personnel administration.  His primary professional interests are organizational change, responsiveness to citizens, effective and prudent financial management and consensus building.  Commissioner Berlin served in the U.S. Army.  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 at Harvard University, American University, the University of Colorado and the University of Denver.  Commissioner Berlin works to improve the lives of persons who are challenged with developmental disabilities.  He is a member of the Board of Directors and Finance and Personnel Committee of the Developmental Disabilities Resource Center in Lakewood that provides services to persons with developmental disabilities in four counties.  His term expires 12/31/2014.

Judge Federico Alvarez, Esq., Commissioner

As a joint representative appointment of the Mayor and City Council, Federico Alvarez, Esq. was appointed to the Commission in June, 2013. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School. As a practicing attorney, Commissioner Alvarez is currently involved in mediation and arbitration matters. He has extensive litigation experience and has worked in private practice and has served as a Public Defender and as an Assistant Attorney General. He has also served as a Judge in the Denver County and District Courts.

Commissioner Alvarez participates in a number of organizations including the American Arbitration Association, the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline, the Rhone-Brackett Inn of Court, the Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation, the Denver Athletic Club, and the Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. His term expires 12/31/2015.

Anna Flores, Commissioner

As a City Council appointee, Anna Flores was first appointed to the Commission in October 2003 Commissioner Flores is a life long Denver resident.  She attended Fairview Elementary School, Lake Jr. High School, West High School, and Metropolitan State College with a double major in Political Science and Spanish. Former Mayor Federico Pena appointed her as the Director for the Denver Commission on Aging from 1983 to 1989.  Commissioner Flores previously narrated for the Colorado Talking Library for the Blind.  She is an accomplished author and has written four books.  Her term expires 12/31/2015.

Hillary Potter, Commissioner

As a Mayoral appointee, Dr. Hillary Potter was first appointed to the Commission in February 2009.  Dr. Potter is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she teaches criminology courses.  Her area of specialization is in race, gender, and class issues as they relate to crime and violence.

Dr. Potter, a resident of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, was born and raised in Denver.  Dr. Potter holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.A. in criminal justice from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.  Dr. Potter’s published work includes her books Battle Cries: Black Women and Intimate Partner Abuse (New York University Press, 2008) and Racing the Storm; Racial Implications and Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina (editor; Lexington Books, 2007).  Her term expires 12/31/2015.