An attorney turned legal marketer, who is a Highland Park resident, was awarded for helping police with negotiations and ending a 12-hour standoff with a subject at a Highland Park home in September.
The incident began around 10 a.m. on September 16 in the 1300 block of St. Johns Avenue in Highland Park.
Bystanders reported that officers blocked St. Johns Avenue from Lincoln Avenue West to Wade Street.
City officials said at the time that a man was inside a home threatening to harm himself.
Police believed there were firearms in the residence.
Highland Park Chief of Police Lou Jogmen said the incident became more complex and protracted when the subject continued to not cooperate.
Ross Fishman, who is the CEO of a local legal marketing agency, came to the aid of police and SWAT teams.
Fishman, who lives on the same block where the incident occurred, talked to the police chief who allowed him to communicate with the subject.
The 15-minute discussion successfully led to the resident safely exiting the home by around 10:30 p.m.
“You are commended for your willingness to become involved in this public safety incident! Your empathy and the care you exhibited for a fellow human being in need is worthy of recognition,” Jogmen told Fishman.
“Without question, the incident was resolved peacefully because of your involvement and certainly was brought to a successful resolution largely due to your willingness to collaborate with the Police Department in our efforts to assist this resident in their time of need,” Jogmen said.
Fishman received a Citizen Citation for Meritorious Service.
The award is given to private citizens for an act that involves “uncommon risk to the citizen” when providing assistance to the police department or for an act that results in the saving of a life in which “extraordinary efforts” were used.
Fishman was presented with the award earlier this month.
“I never envisioned myself as a hostage negotiator, but my litigation and negotiating training (that I use regularly when pitching marketing campaigns to law firm marketing committees) certainly came in handy that night!” Fishman told Above The Law.
“The Highland Park Police Department commends you for your selfless conduct, compassionate efforts, teamwork, professionalism, and excellent performance during a time of crisis regarding a complex, dangerous situation, which had great potential for injury or loss of life to members of our community and/or first responders,” Jogmen said.