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UC Irvine welcomes new campus chief of police

UC Irvine welcomes new campus chief of police
Elizabeth “Liz” Griffin, a commander with the Long Beach Police Department the past six years, has been named chief of police at UC Irvine. (Steve Zylius / UC Irvine)

UC Irvine has a new chief of police with the appointment this week of Elizabeth “Liz” Griffin.

Griffin comes from the Long Beach Police Department, where she joined as an officer in 1992 and moved up the ranks to sergeant, lieutenant and, ultimately, commander for the past six years, UCI said.

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Griffin received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Cal State Fullerton and a master’s in emergency services administration from Cal State Long Beach. She also is a graduate of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Point Leadership Program and the FBI National Academy.

Griffin will oversee the UCI Police Department’s 49 officers and about 60 other staff members serving the campus of nearly 37,000 students.

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“I am very honored to be chosen for the role,” Griffin said Friday. “I already feel like they’ve accepted me as part of their family.”

This isn’t the first time Griffin has worked with college campuses. From 2013 to 2015, she was responsible for working with Long Beach City College on behalf of Long Beach police.

From 2015 to 2017, she was commander of the east division, which includes Cal State Long Beach, where most students live off campus.

The UCI Police Department handles patrol, investigations and emergency management on the campus, as well as public safety services at UCI Medical Center in Orange, the university said.

“The goal is to continue to build and develop partnerships for the campus community,” Griffin said.

Griffin replaces interim Chief Paul Cooper, who had served in the role since last year.

“Chief Griffin’s depth of experience and community involvement makes her the right person to lead the UCI Police Department and advance our community policing efforts by developing collaborative partnerships throughout the campus community,” Ronald Cortez, UCI’s chief financial officer, said in a statement.

Cortez also is vice chancellor for the division of finance and administration, which includes campus police.

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