About the K-9 Program
UCIPD’s K-9 Program launched in August 2021 to enhance campus safety. UCIPD’s K-9 is a patrol dog trained to detect firearms and explosive-related materials. In the future, the K-9 will also be trained in tracking so it can be used in missing and lost person calls. One of the K-9’s primary duties is conducting searches and security sweeps to help ensure a venue is safe.
The K-9 program was funded by the UC Violent Acts and Mitigation Program (VAMP) grant out of the Risk Management office of the University of California Office of the President (UCOP). Prior to applying for funding, the concept of a K-9 Program was also presented to UCI’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). PSAC supported the grant application.
Cliff is UCIPD’s first K-9 and joined UCI on July 15, 2021. He is a chocolate lab and was born on June 2, 2019. Cliff lives at home with his handler and enjoys playing with his tennis ball and KONG chew toy when he's not working. To learn more about Cliff, we invite you to review the frequently asked questions below.
About Cliff's Handler
A handler is an officer who is responsible for the training and care of the K-9. Officer Jordan Leyland, a three-year veteran with UCIPD, was selected as the department’s first K-9 handler. He formerly attended UCI on a baseball scholarship and played professionally before pursuing a career in public safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Though it's a common assumption, his name is simply Cliff :)
Police dog units are often referred to as K-9, which is a pun on the word canine. If you see it on the side of a police car, it means the car is carrying a working police service dog.
Unlike the average family pet, a police service dog such as Cliff, is extremely active and requires a diet formulated to meet his increased energy and nutrient demands. Cliff's diet is strictly monitored by his veterinarian and Officer Leyland.
Cliff is always eager to meet members of our community. You'll often find him to be exhuberant and excited to be at UCI. But as with any dog, we recommend you ask Officer Leyland before approaching because there's a chance Cliff could be busy on an assignment.
Once you have Officer Leyland's consent, he'd be delighted to properly introduce you to Cliff.
After a job well done, Cliff is often rewarded with his two most treasured toys - his tennis ball and KONG chew toy.
When Cliff is not at work, he's a beloved member of Officer Leyland's family where he passes the time as any other dog does - comfortably relaxing and hanging out with everyone.
Cliff receives weekly training while maintaining a minimum of 16 hours per month in order to meet training standards. His training exercises include obedience, agility, evidence searches related to firearms and spent ammunition, and explosives detection.
Cliff has been trained to detect derivatives of explosives and explosive residues. As a bonus, because of his conditioning to smokeless powder and other explosive fillers, Cliff can also detect firearms and ammunition. He is trained to search open areas, buildings, containers, rooms, and vehicles.
Upon smelling an explosive component, Cliff will exhibit a behavior change as he attempts to narrow down the origin. Cliff will sit down near the source to notify Officer Leyland that the area requires further investigation.
No, Cliff is solely trained to detect firearms and explosive-related materials, as well as tracking lost and missing persons.
The K-9 Program was funded by the UC Violent Acts and Mitigation Program (VAMP) grant program. The grant was approved by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) Risk Management office in November 2020. We have acquired other critical safety tools with this grant such as Shotspotter (a gunshot detection system), fixed and portable metal detectors, and enhanced safety and security lighting installed on UCI buildings.
Depending on the date, time, and availability of Cliff, we'll make an effort to provide a demonstration for your event.
His demonstrations of basic obedience, agility, article searches, and mock explosive searches are intended to showcase his skill and work. During this time, children and adults have an opportunity to learn and ask questions about our K-9 Program. The value of these exhibitions provide immeasurable benefits for everyone as the interaction encourages the community to build trust towards our officers.
Emergencies arise and Cliff may have to cancel engagements to respond to calls for service. If this occurs, we apologize and another date may be arranged.
Occasionally, we'll have a photographer taking pictures of the children with Cliff and they may be posted on our website or social media.