History of the
Orange County Marshal's Department


C
onsolidation of the Marshal’s Department

The remaining three districts were the Newport Beach Justice Court District, Huntington Beach-Seal Beach Justice Court District, and the Laguna Beach-San Clemente Justice Court District, these were headed by Constables until 1959. With the formation of Municipal Courts, Marshal’s were appointed to staff the new positions. R.E. Steinberger was named the first Marshal of the Santa Ana-Orange Municipal Court District. Haskell Kelley was named the first Marshal of the Anaheim-Fullerton Municipal Court.

In 1967, the County changed the names of the judicial districts. Santa Ana-Orange became "Central", Anaheim-Fullerton became "North", Huntington Beach-Seal Beach became "West", Newport-Costa Mesa became "Harbor", and Laguna Beach-San Clemente became "South". Each of these districts had their own elected Marshal.

In 1968, the Judicial District boundaries are re-aligned to their present day configuration. The Marshal’s Department is now 130 strong, with a budget of $1.25 million. The Department also fields its first Special Enforcement Unit (S.E.U.) designed to respond to special events such as the Williams Canyon "Love-In" in 1974.

In 1970, the Board of Supervisors asked for legislation to consolidate the five Marshals’s Offices into one. The legislation passed and on December 4, 1970, D.O. Wilkirson was appointed the first Marshal of Orange County and Don Rhea Assistant Marshal.

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