ROCKLAND — A divided City Council gave the police review committee an additional three months to finish its work despite concerns by the police chief.

The Council voted 3-2 for the three-month extension with Mayor Ed Glaser and Councilors Sarah Austin and Nate Davis supporting the move.

Police Chief Tim Carroll said the main issues faced by the city in terms of law enforcement are mental health problems (94 incidents thus far in 2022) and juvenile criminal acts (113 thus far in 2022). While the committee has touched upon those issues, their discussions often return to how to promote ways for citizens to file complaints against officers.

“The committee is looking for a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist,” Carroll said.

He said the department already is heavily involved in community policing, reciting a lengthy list that includes school visits, Sand for Seniors, Meals on Wheels, a drug take-back program, and Narcan training.

The department has used force on 34 occasions during 2022 but received no complaints.

The chief said when he walks down Main Street he is stopped frequently by people who comment how professional the officers are in the department.

Police Review Committee member Emily Emmott also said she would oppose an extension. She said Rockland has hired the best chief and he should be allowed to do his job.

The committee has been plagued by turnover of members and by its practice of using a different chair for each meeting.

Councilor Nicole Kalloch spoke out against the extension, saying its work was a distraction.

Mayor Ed Glaser said he did not want to pull the rug out from under the committee.

The Council voted July 12, 2021, to create the ad-hoc police review committee to investigate ways to improve community policing in Rockland and report those recommendations to the City Council. The work was expected to take 12 months to complete, but the committee could ask for additional time.

The committee was formed less than a year after a petition was filed with the Rockland City Council in August 2020 by a group calling for reallocating money from police to social services. That petition gathered 135 local signatures. Supporters of the department collected more signatures in response to the original petition.

The group has met nearly every other Monday but has agreed on little other than the need for a mental health worker for the department. The members have disagreed on creating a citizen committee to review complaints.