2022 June Amstutz Outstanding Community Service Award
Raised in a large family in San Antonio Texas, Gil Esparza is the ninth of fourteen children. Mr. Esparza joined the Navy in 1978, and retired in 1993 due to combat injuries received during the Gulf War. After leaving military service, Gil moved to Kentucky with his family and used his G.I. Bill to attend Northern Kentucky University, majoring in Criminal Justice. His first language is Spanish, and he also served as an Interpreter in the criminal justice system for several years.
M r. Esparza moved to Ohio and began employment with Greene County as an Adult Probation Officer in 2007. He embraced the organization’s mission to enhance community safety, reduce recidivism, and facilitate positive change in offenders’ lives through accountability and rehabilitation. In this role, he participated as a member of the Veterans Treatment Court. This voluntary program is a specialized docket designed to assist military veterans involved with the criminal justice system, addressing the issues which lead to their court involvement. For the past several years, Gil has been employed as a Veterans Service Officer for Greene County Veterans Services.
Demonstrating a dedicated commitment to public service throughout his adult life, both professionally and personally, Mr. Esparza has served as a School Board member for Xenia City Schools and Prevention Coordinator in the Northern Kentucky School System. He is the founder of Warriors on Wheels, a cycling club for Veterans to help meet other Veterans, and gain a health benefit while cycling. Mr. Esparza and his wife have 4 children, Amy, Jason, Cody, and Buddy. They are the proud grandparents of eleven grandchildren.
In 2019, Gil and his wife volunteered to provide temporary shelter and care for a child victim of human trafficking. The boy spoke no English and needed a safe place to stay. They welcomed the child into their home until he could be returned to his family in Guatemala. The boy maintains communication with the Esparza family and is now considered an extended family member.
Throughout his lengthy career, while holding many positions within in the criminal justice system, Mr. Esparza has maintained a victim-centered approach to working with offenders and crime victims. Though offender accountability and rehabilitation were his main priority, he has always afforded crime victims respect and dignity, and attempted, wherever possible, to meaningfully address the needs of victims. Gil exercises compassion for the most vulnerable and demonstrates all the best qualities of a dedicated professional in service to his community.
The Greene County Prosecutor’s Office thanks you for your service to our country, and to the County community. It is an honor to present you with the 2022 Outstanding Community Service Award.