Antonio Espejo, Police Athletics for Community Engagement,  Jul 14, 2017
"The Dream of Having a Future for Kids"

Antonio Espejo was born and raised in South Omaha. Officer Espejo served his country as a United States Marine and wanted to continue that service through policing. Officer Espejo has served in the Omaha Police Department for 17 years, 13 as a gang officer. Officer Espejo’s dedication to his community resulted in the creation of the Latino Peace Officers soccer league. Initially started with 6
teams from gang influenced neighborhoods, the league grew to 87-plus teams last year. Antonio also started a baseball league in 2009 and recruited officers to coach individual teams. Police Athletics for Community Engagement or P.A.C.E has now grown from the initial baseball league to providing other athletic activities such as soccer for at-risk youth city-wide in Omaha.  The soccer league now includes 50 teams and about 900 kids.  "The thing is, it’s not just about sports, it's about sportsmanship, it's about not getting down on yourself, it's about cheering your buddy on,” states Espejo.  He adds baseball teaches kids about setting goals and problem solving in a positive way. Officer Espejo has won numerous awards for his work in the community and was the 2010 National Latino Police Officer of the Year. Officer Espejo is still working as a gang officer and leads the Police Athletics for Community Engagement program.  A few years ago, Officer Espejo and the PACE baseball league was reported on in this KETV article