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The Jim Aspiotis
Memorial Award

Headshot photo of Jim Aspiotis

The passing of Jim Aspiotis in February of 2021 has reverberated across the criminal justice system. His loss has been devastating to his family and friends. The ONGIA board, and broader ONGIA community, has felt this keenly. Indeed, ONGIA has never known a minute where Jim was not a tireless board member. He was an inspirational leader and president for many years.

His motto of “LEARN, SHARE AND STAY SAFE” is the bedrock upon which ONGIA is built.

With the support of his family, the Jim Aspiotis memorial award is being established to recognize outstanding work.

This can be either for a lifetime of accomplishments, or in recognition of an exceptional achievement. 

This Award is aimed at individuals, like Jim Aspiotis, who have demonstrated outstanding professionalism and a profound dedication to the safety of their community and all its members.

sgt. Ryan Ferry
The Jim Aspiotis Memorial Award RECIPIENT
Edmonton Police Service

In recognition of an individual who has demonstrated outstanding professionalism and profound dedication to the safety of the communities they serve, the 2023 Jim Aspiotis Memorial Award recipient is Sgt. Ryan Ferry, of the Edmonton Police Service.  Throughout his career, Ryan has dedicated himself to enhancing public safety and curbing violence associated with organized crime and gangs within our community. Initially serving as a neighborhood foot patrol member in 2010, Ryan simultaneously excelled as an expert in entertainment venues and spearheaded efforts in youth crime diversion. Recognizing gaps in addressing homeless and disadvantaged youth behavior, he pioneered Project YETI, fostering collaboration among agencies to set expectations and consequences for at-risk youth, effectively deterring gang involvement. Transitioning to the EPS Hospitality Policing Unit from 2012 to 2015, Ryan founded a dedicated team to tackle escalating violence in entertainment areas. He led impactful community consultations, facilitated training, and co-instructed a pioneering Entertainment Zone Policing course in North America, emphasizing safer spaces and violence prevention. Identifying rising threats related to African and Black communities, Ryan initiated internal violence reduction strategies and collaborated with community leaders for crisis support. In response to heightened gang conflict in 2020, Ryan's decisive leadership in a focused, high-visibility enforcement project suppressed gang violence and prevented further turmoil. His commitment extends beyond enforcement, actively engaging with youth and educational institutions, presenting on gang life pathways, and conducting lectures on gang intervention strategies. As a leader in law enforcement training, Ryan shares his expertise on gang trends and organized crime, benefiting EPS and community stakeholders. Currently, Ryan contributes significantly to the Building Safer Communities Fund steering committee, guiding federal funding for youth gang prevention efforts in collaboration with Edmonton and community partners. His latest initiative, the Gang Response and Intelligence Program, aims to coordinate responses to organized crime, positioning EPS for success in intelligence distribution. With 18 years of unwavering dedication and impactful contributions, Ryan stands as an exemplary figure in combating gang violence. His profound commitment and expertise make him deserving of the Jim Aspiotis Memorial Award.


Rules for nominations:


  1. Typed nomination letter with a narrative that provides a thorough description of the work performed by the nominee and how they impacted their community.

  2. All nominations must be received no later than October 11th, 2024.

  3. Nominations must be emailed to the President at the link here

  4. The ONGIA Board will evaluate the nominations and select the winner.

  5. The Winner will be invited to the conference to accept the award during the week.

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