The fiscal year 2011-12 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury will be sworn into office at 10:30 a.m. Friday in Department 2 on the second floor of the Superior Court in Santa Barbara.

Superior Court Judge Brian Hill will oversee the ceremonies, which will include the discharge of the outgoing 2010-11 Grand Jury that released several reports during its term in office.

The public is invited to attend.

The Civil Grand Jury is a unique institution whose primary purpose is to act as a “watchdog” of local government and make recommendations for improvements. The 19-member Civil Grand Jury is comprised of citizen volunteers who will serve for a one-year period. Nine jurors from the fiscal year 2010-11 Grand Jury will be “held over” for a second year of service under a special provision of law in order to provide continuity and “institutional memory” for the new Grand Jury members.

— Angela Braun is the jury services supervisor for Santa Barbara County Superior Court.