SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Springdale Public Schools is implementing a new safety program involving Commissioned School Security Officers (CSSO).

A CSSO is an armed security guard that will be stationed at every elementary school in Springdale, while school resource officers will be at middle schools, junior high schools and high schools. The CSSOs will not replace the district’s school resource officers, but instead will be in addition to them, according to the district.

A Commissioned School Security Officer will have to undergo a state training course, pass an exam, be older the 21 years, have a clean criminal record and clear the Arkansas State Police and FBI background check.

Springdale Police Captain Jeff Taylor said the training will be extensive for CSSOs.

“They have to go over report writing, they have to go over defensive tactics, handcuffing, all kinds of things like that, as well as active shooter training,” Taylor said.

CSSOs will be employees of the school district. CSSOs can enforce school rules, while SROs can enforce laws.

“An SRO is a fully fledged police officer, just like any police officers patrolling the streets, they are just assigned to a school, so they have the same arrest powers as an officer that is going to your place of business or your house,” Taylor said.

Since the CSSOs will be armed, Captain Taylor said hiring the right people will be key.

“We’re going to do everything we can to partner with the school district to make sure that they are making good hires,” Taylor said.

Captain Taylor said he’s looking forward to a strong partnership between school resource officers and commissioned school security officers when the program is implemented.

“This is going to be something where they can come alongside of us and they can actually help us be an armed presence when we can’t be there,” Taylor said.

The Springdale School Board voted to approve the program Tuesday at its meeting. Superintendent Dr. Jared Cleveland said the full cost of the CSSO program is still in the works.