ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WFMY) – The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office and Rockingham County Schools are moving forward with a plan to put armed Volunteer School Safety Officers in schools.

“Schools are looked at as soft targets. But we need to do something to better protect our kids and we need to do it now,” Sheriff Sam Page said. “The time for action is now.”

According to the sheriff’s office, the North Carolina Justice Academy is currently working on a training program for future volunteers.

Under the program, volunteers from the community with at least two years of experience in law enforcement or military policing would be placed in schools across the county.

They would be armed and ready to help in case of an emergency.

The sheriff said they are working on a vetting process that volunteers would go through.

Since the idea for the program was announced a week ago, the sheriff’s office has received several phone calls and emails from people in the community who are interested in volunteering.

A North Carolina law that went into effect after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, allows sheriff’s offices to establish volunteer school safety resource officer programs.

The sheriff’s office aims to have the program in place for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

The Rockingham County School Board would have to approve the plan.

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office hosted a news conference regarding the initiative Wednesday afternoon. Lawmakers, school officials and law enforcement were there to show support.

Randolph County Sheriff Robert Graves said he is looking at putting the program in place in his county as well.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON: