FAIR LAWN - A Fair Lawn vice principal has invented a new safety lock for school classroom doors.
Dominick Tarquinio is an administrator at the Memorial Middle School. He's also a former industrial arts technology teacher and invented a now patented lock called LockAide.
Tarquinio says that his inspiration for the lock was the Sandy Hook tragedy. The keyless lock uses a latch that shuts out the intruder while making it easy for a teacher to get out.
"Parents put so much trust in us, in education, to make sure their children are safe before learning can take place,” he says. “Then you have a tragedy such as Sandy Hook. It was devastating."
There is also a green tab on the lock which lets police officers know the doors are locked.
Pastor David Boone is in charge of the first school to use the LockAide. Boone is also a retired detective.
"From the time that 911 call goes through, it'll be less than two minutes and you'll have multiple officers on the scene,” Boone says. "[An intruder] is going to try and do whatever they can, so if you can slow them down, that's what you need to do."
Tarquinio says about three dozen schools in New Jersey have signed up for LockAide and he's in talks with educators in California and New York City.
Each LockAide costs $88.