UCI News

Liz Griffin named chief of UCI Police Department

Commander has spent 27 years in Long Beach law enforcement

May 21, 2019
Liz Griffin named chief of UCI Police Department
New UCI Police Chief Liz Griffin will oversee a team of 49 officers and more than 60 public safety and professional staff who provide 24/7 safety and protection for the campus of nearly 37,000 students. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., May 21, 2019 — Elizabeth “Liz” Griffin has been named chief of police at the University of California, Irvine. Griffin comes from the Long Beach Police Department, where she has served since 1992, and as commander for the past six years. At UCI, she will oversee a team of 49 officers and more than 60 public safety and professional staff who provide 24/7 safety and protection for the campus of nearly 37,000 students.

Griffin will manage an operation that includes patrol, administration, investigations and emergency management, as well as Public Safety Services at the UCI Medical Center, located in Orange. The chief represents the UCI Police Department on campus, at the medical center and in neighboring communities, and will collaborate with outside law enforcement agencies, participate on committees and develop partnerships related to university public safety.

“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,” said Ronald Cortez, UCI’s chief financial officer and vice chancellor for the division of finance and administration, including campus police.

While at the Long Beach Police Department, Griffin moved up the ranks from officer to sergeant to lieutenant and, ultimately, to commander. A graduate of the LAPD West Point Leadership Program and the FBI National Academy, she’s a member of the California Peace Officers’ Association, FBI National Academy Associates and Los Angeles Women Police Officers & Associates.

Griffin earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at California State University, Fullerton, and a master’s in emergency services administration at California State University, Long Beach. She was a member of the board of directors for the Boy Scouts of America’s Long Beach Area Council from 2015 to 2018, was an assistant director of the Long Beach Police Historical Society and served as the Long Beach Police Department’s liaison to the LGBTQ community.

Griffin replaces interim Police Chief Paul Cooper, who has served in the role since 2018.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

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