Chief Deputy Tim Carroll filed papers Friday, Jan. 19, to seek the Knox County Sheriff's post.

And he is getting the backing of Sheriff Donna Dennison, who said she will retire from the post at year's end, after nearly 12 years as the county's chief law enforcement officer.

"I absolutely support him. He will do a great job," she said.

Carroll said his decision to campaign for sheriff came from a strong desire to serve people.

"Good law enforcement requires exceptional service with a common-sense approach. Enforcing law has never been black and white. I have tried to be fair with every encounter I have handled over 24 years of law enforcement service. Every interaction is an opportunity to enhance the quality of life for a citizen. Leadership that fosters a spirit of knowing when to be firm and when to be compassionate would be one of my priorities as sheriff," Carroll said.

Carroll, a resident of Owls Head, is running as a Democrat, the same party as the sheriff.

No other candidates have filed their intentions to run for the seat. The deadline to file nomination papers for party candidates is March 15. Un-enrolled candidates running as independents have until May 25 to file nomination papers to get on the November ballot.

The party primaries will be held June 12. The general election — in which the winners of the primaries and any independent candidates vie — will be Nov. 6.

Born in Camden, Carroll moved to Mount Desert Island when his father was named police chief of Southwest Harbor.

Carroll attended MDI schools and graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in law enforcement. His first official police position began in Rockland in 1991 — on the evening of his 21st birthday.

From there, he worked on the Bar Harbor Police force for four years, then joined the Maine Marine Patrol, serving in Stonington, and after nine years returned to Rockland.

In 2004, after marrying Heidi Kolmosky, he went to work in the family business at Fuller's auto dealership as business manager. In a 2014 interview with The Courier-Gazette, he said despite enjoying the family connection, he wanted to return to law enforcement.

He has served as Dennison's chief deputy for more than seven years.

Last month, Carroll graduated from the FBI Academy.

He received the outstanding bravery award from the Waldo County Law Enforcement Association for saving the life of Jennifer Knowlton June 28, 1997  and was awarded the Lifesaving Medal by the Bureau of Marine Patrol "for action above and beyond the call of duty in effecting the rescue and the saving of a life" and was named Marine Patrol Officer of the Year in 2001.

The candidate also talked about his goals for the jail side of the sheriff's department.

"Good correction opportunities require that programs are in place to address the needs of the residents housed in the Knox County Jail. Over 80 percent of the population currently housed there is due to some form of addiction. I want to partner with local organizations and care providers to help those curb their addiction to reduce the recidivism rate that would cost less to the taxpayers," Carroll said.

In addition to his law enforcement profession, Carroll has been an active volunteer in the community. He volunteered with the Maine Lobster Festival for more than 13 years, including as the organization's president.

He also coaches youth sports.

He and Heidi have two children — Casey and Jacob.