LIVINGSTON, NJ — Following the arrest of 18-year-old John Coulouris—who yesterday was accused of being involved in the recent cyber threats against Livingston High School and charged accordingly—Mayor Al Anthony, Police Chief Craig Handschuch and Livingston Public Schools individually thanked the local law enforcement, district staff and the community at large for their effort and patience throughout this ongoing investigation.
(It should be noted that this is an active investigation and that all charges against Coulouris are merely accusations. Coulouris is presumed innocent unless or until he enters a guilty plea or is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Click HERE for more information on his arrest.)
Mayor Al Anthony said that it is moments like these that “demonstrate the kind of community you are.” Despite having a population of nearly 30,000, Anthony said Livingston has always been a close-knit community that pulls together for each other, especially in trying times.
“The communication and cooperation between our police department, school district, parents and students has been extraordinary,” said Anthony, who also thanked the community for refraining from spreading false information and for allowing the professionals to perform their job. “Being there every day, I saw firsthand the camaraderie that took place, everyone working together. It's that teamwork that made all the difference.”
Livingston Police Chief Craig Handschuch added that he was extremely pleased with the efforts of Livingston’s Detective Division in handling the initial investigation and gathering evidence and information that assisted in the identification and arrested of this individual.
“I also commend the men and women of the Livingston Police Department in their professional response to this incident and assuring that the staff and students were safe at all times,” said Handschuch. “And finally, the cooperation of the Superintendent, Chris Steffner, High School Principal Mark Stern and the entire staff and student body for their cooperation during this incident.”
In an official statement from the Livingston Public School District, officials stated that the district as a whole appreciates the hard work of Chief Handschuch, Captain Gary Marshuetz and all officers for their assistance in securing the building and their ongoing presence at the high school, as well as throughout the school district.
“We also appreciate the efforts of the Livingston High School staff who were available to counsel our students and assisted in the many safety precautions taken to ensure the high school remained secure,” the district stated. “Our school counselors continue to be available to any student impacted by the events of the past week.”
Throughout the week, the district assured the community that it was in constant contact with Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray to assess and monitor the situation. The district also stated that it received guidance from officials at the New Jersey Department of Education and support from school leaders in surrounding communities as well as Livingston Township officials.
Lastly, Livingston Public Schools thanked the parents and the students for their cooperation with respect to the imposition of the additional safety measures and for not prejudging the events leading up to the announcement Coulouris’ arrest.
According to the official statement, “Livingston Public Schools is unequivocally committed to ensuring the safety of our students and school community.”