ROCKLAND — Knox County Sheriff Tim Carroll has been tapped to be Rockland’s next police chief.

“This is a huge win for Rockland,” Rockland City Manager Tom Luttrell said Thursday, June 30.

Carroll said he was excited to rejoin a department where he started his law enforcement career.

“I may live two miles from the city but when I tell people where I’m from, I say Rockland,” Carroll said. “Rockland is a great place to live and raise a family.”

The city had re-advertised the chief vacancy following the second unsuccessful search effort earlier in June. The sheriff approached the city manager, Luttrell said. There were two candidates for the third round, Carroll was interviewed Wednesday night and the second candidate withdrew.

Carroll said he wants to focus on law enforcement and will work to retain and attract officers to the department and address its staffing needs. Maine sheriff’s oversee both patrol divisions and the jails. Carroll has been praised for his efforts to provide services to people incarcerated in the Knox Jail so they will have a better chance to succeed upon their being released.

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 joined the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and served as chief deputy for seven years under Sheriff Donna Dennison.

Carroll graduated from the FBI Academy in 2018.

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 Rockland City Council will need to formally confirm the appointment of Carroll. The Council is scheduled to vote on confirmation at a meeting that begins 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 6. Carroll plans to begin the chief’s job in Monday, July 11.

He will succeed Christopher Young who left in November 2021 for a job in the private sector. Deputy Chief Joel Neal has served as interim chief since Young’s departure.

The 52-year-old sheriff said he hopes he can retire from law enforcement as Rockland chief.

His departure from the sheriff’s office will mean Chief Deputy Patrick Polky will be sheriff until the governor names a replacement. Under state law, the Knox County Democratic Committee gets to make a recommendation to the governor to fill the position until the next election, which is in November, since Carroll is a Democrat.

Since Carroll was to be uncontested on the November ballot, the Democrats will be able to offer a replacement candidate on the November ballot.

The sheriff said Polky is interested in the sheriff’s post. He said Polky is a Democrat. The term for sheriff is for four years.

Polky issued a statement late Thursday.

“Sheriff Timothy Carroll’s announcement to resign his position as sheriff of Knox County is as much a shock to me as it is to many of you. I understand Sheriff Carroll’s reasons and wish him the absolute best in his new chosen path! He is working with local, county and state officials with regard to his resignation and will likely have more information to provide in the coming days.

“Anytime an organization experiences a transition like this, there are feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. I, too, am experiencing these feelings, but my military experience taught me to keep moving forward and performing at my very best. As chief deputy, I have remained prepared to step in for the sheriff at any time; I will ensure that you all continue to receive the same service and stability for as long as I am afforded the opportunity,” Polky said.