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We want you

Serve your county by serving on the grand jury

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Would you be interested in making a valuable contribution to the county of San Luis Obispo? Would you like to see firsthand the challenges our county faces and be involved in helping to find solutions? If the answer is yes, you should apply to become a member of the San Luis Obispo County civil grand jury.

The grand jury is an arm of the Superior Court, and its 19 members are all volunteers. The grand jury acts as the "watchdog" for all local government entities within the county. Its primary responsibility is to hold local government accountable through its investigations and reports.

As a grand jury member, you learn how your local government works by conducting investigations into various departments and functions of local government and having the opportunity to meet local government officials, while at the same time meeting new people and establishing new friendships.

Grand jurors operate under strict rules of confidentiality to protect their privacy as well as that of any entity or person involved in an investigation. This confidentiality remains for life.

There are many benefits of serving on the grand jury:

• Serve your community in a unique way.

• Learn firsthand how our county government agencies operate and the challenges they face.

• Meet and interact with key public officials, department heads, and staff in our county, cities, and community service districts.

• Inspect and see the inside of our prison (California Men's Colony) and jail systems where you will gain valuable insight into these facilities and most likely form a different perspective on how they operate.

• Look at issues from both sides.

• Become a better informed resident.

• Meet and interact with people in the county from all walks of life.

• Make new friendships.

Serving on the grand jury is an experience of a lifetime, so if you are drawn to this exciting, rewarding, and challenging opportunity and are 18 years or older, are a U.S. citizen, a resident of San Luis Obispo County for at least a year, can understand the English language, have the time to devote at least 20 hours a week for a year, and are computer literate, don't wait, apply now.

Applying for the grand jury is easy. Go to: slo.courts.ca.gov/gi/jury-grandjury.htm and download the application. For more detailed information, you can call jury services at (805) 788-7061. The deadline for applications for the 2020-21 grand jury is Friday, April 17. Δ

Dorothy Schlitz served on the grand jury 2004 to 2005, and Nancy Welts served on the grand jury 2012 to 2013. Both are on the board of directors for the California Grand Juror's Association, San Luis Obispo Chapter. Send comments through the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com.

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