Born in Oklahoma, Dillard O.
Wilkirson moved to Anaheim in 1930. He attended
Anaheim High School and Orange Coast College. He then
joined the Anaheim Police Department in early 1940,
serving five years and achieving the rank of
Lieutenant. Prior to joining the Marshals
Office, Marshal Wilkirson operated his own restaurant
and meat business in Orange County.
Marshal Dillard O. Wilkirson began
his career in the North Orange County Judicial
District in 1957, rising through the ranks until his
appointment to North Orange County Marshal in January,
1966 following the retirement of Marshal Haskell A.
Kelly. Marshal Wilkirson assumed office with a staff
of 45 employees. In June, 1966, Marshal Wilkirson was
elected to a six-year term.
Marshal Wilkirson took office in
December 1970 as the Marshal of Orange County,
becoming the first Marshal to hold the new position
of Marshal in the consolidated Marshals Office of
Orange County. The consolidation of the offices
reportedly saved the taxpayers nearly $500,000 the
first year. He located the Marshals Department
offices in the space occupied by the Central Marshals
Office. The former local Marshals were given key
positions within the organization such as Inspector
or Assistant Marshal, and were given responsibility
for areas encompassing several judicial districts.