ROCKLAND — Rockland police are looking to add a canine to its ranks.

City Manager Tom Luttrell raised the issue briefly during the Monday night, Dec. 5 meeting of the Rockland City Council.

Police Chief Tim Carroll said after the meeting that he was in favor of a K-9 program. He added one to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office when he was sheriff.

“I think K-9’s are an invaluable tool for law enforcement in many areas. People don’t think of the positive PR they bring as one of their biggest assets,” Carroll said.

The chief said he will look for a team (officer and canine) who are trained and ready. Otherwise, he will look for someone internally who is interested in being part of a canine team.

The addition of a canine team would need approval of the City Council. The cost of training a dog back in 2019 was about $10,000.

The Maine State Police have 22 canines in its K-9 unit. There are another 25 county and municipal teams that train within the unit. There are other training groups within the state of Maine to include the Maine Warden Service and Law Enforcement Dogs of Maine, according to Cpl. Christopher Smith, assistant canine trainer for the Maine State Police Canine Unit.

Within the training group of approximately 50 K-9 teams, there were a total of 1,384 deployments for 2022 through Dec. 27.