The Denver Police Protective Association (also known simply as the PPA) is the largest police organization in the State with approximately 1,450 members. It is the collective bargaining agent for all Denver police officers. Members of the organization have a voice in the operation of the PPA, can run for PPA office, vote on collective bargaining contract ratification, help set the goals for bargaining, and have access to the finest legal counsel in the metropolitan area to deal with legal issues arising out of your employment. The PPA is governed by the Executive Board. The PPA Executive Board is made up of seven law enforcement officers who are elected by the membership. PPA Board members work tirelessly toward better jobs, legislation, rights, and resources for police officers in Denver.
Incorporated March 31, 1908, as the Policeman’s Protective Association for the City and County of Denver, the PPA began as a fraternal organization. Soon after establishment, the founders realized the need to operate as a labor organization and focus on defending the rights of DPD officers. The voluntary, member-elected Board continues to fight for officers against false accusations, unjust discipline, and to secure fair wages and better benefits — just as they did over 100 years ago.
The PPA acts as liaison between officers and the City on a multitude of issues. Through the years, the PPA formed committees and challenged the Manager of Safety (now Executive Director of Safety) and the Civil Service Commission to improve the treatment of officers. In the early years, the PPA had to campaign and solicit voters for pay raises or changes in benefits. In 1913, the PPA negotiated with the City to urge officials to utilize information from wage surveys; these changes, however, took many years. Through these same wage surveys, the officers later achieved better work schedules comparable to a 40 hour work week and paid holidays. By 1923, there were 371 members.
In 1927, the Association revised its constitution to state its four main purposes:
- “.. to bring the members of the police department together in a closer bond of fraternity…”
- “.. to increase the efficiency of the department by aiding in the improvement of civil service rules.. and demanding strict enforcement of the same..”
- “.. to encourage right living and social interaction among members, and to protect them from any injustice, whatsoever that may result from the legal performance of their duties..”
- “.. to insure.. to the amount of Fifteen Hundred Dollars.. in case of death..”
The rich history of the PPA has included many other topics, including an array of fundraising efforts to benefit the Relief Fund charity, the organization of the famed Policeman’s Ball, as well as sponsoring the Junior Police Band. The first PPA building was constructed in 1954 and housed not only the Association, but also the Junior Police Band. In 2001, the new facility as it stands today was built from the ground up. The public, non-profit PPA Event Center provides a professional atmosphere for law enforcement trainings, corporate workshops, as well as many social events. The organization employs a professional staff to manage day-to-day business, coordinate and manage all events, as well as handle sales, marketing, and public relations.
The PPA has been a catalyst for change over the span of the previous century, especially in areas related to issues effecting police officers. The Association has taken major strides to remain an active participant in all phases of city and state government for the benefit of the membership. Currently, the PPA stands at 1,450 members strong. The Denver Police Protective Association strives for fellowship among its members and fosters the highest standards of professionalism and devotion to duty.