Letters to the Editor

Time is running out to join civil grand jury

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and the Fresno County Board of Supervisors have proclaimed February as Grand Jury Awareness Month.

The Fresno County civil grand jury is accepting applications for the 2016-7 panel, a process that will end March 4. As a former grand jury member, foreman and now president of the Fresno Chapter of the California Grand Jurors’ Association, I can attest that grand jury service is tremendously rewarding and provides exceptional benefits not usually available to ordinary citizens.

Grand jurors have broad oversight powers to investigate and comment upon the activities of government within the county. This includes cities, special districts, redevelopment agencies and other organizations in the county that constitute our local government.

Grand jurors decide what, when and how to investigate, and whether to comment by report on their investigations. Thus, the first unique benefit of service is that jurors will have a meaningful, independent say in local government.

Grand juries are independent bodies and work for and report only to the citizens of the County of Fresno. For applications to serve, please go to http://www.fresno.courts.ca.gov/jury/grand_jury/

Richard G. Allen, president, Fresno Chapter, California Grand Jurors’ Association