ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- The Rockingham County Sheriff's Office is calling on the community to help protect more than 10,000 students in the school district.

The sheriff's office and Rockingham County schools are rolling out a new volunteer program aimed at former law enforcement or military officers to serve as armed volunteer school resource officers.

Accepted applicants will be armed, but must go through required training.

"They are not just somebody coming off the street saying, 'Hey let me help out. I got my pistol here let me come on in'. That's not the case. We are talking about highly trained officers and prior military police that are going to be here," Rockingham County Schools Superintendent Dr. Rodney Shotwell said.

School leaders hope to start this program by next school year.

If you meet the criteria and you're interested in being an armed volunteer you're asked to call the Rockingham sheriff's office for more information. The number is 336-634-3232.