PEACE OFFICER OF THE MONTH: Charles T. Carlson Jr., 58, chief of Upper Marlboro's one-man police force.

JURISDICTION: The Prince George's county seat. Population: about 800, swelling to thousands during the day when court is in session.

EXPERIENCE: 20 years on the D.C. police force, the last four investigating narcotics and prostitution; 8 1/2 years on the District Heights force; 6 1/2 years in Upper Marlboro.

THE WORK: Writing 20 to 30 -- but "rarely as many as 40" -- parking tickets a day at the town's 50 or so parking meters. "Ninety-five percent of my job is keeping parking straight. . . . When I was in D.C., I never wrote parking tickets because I hated them. Now I've come full circle."

THE FINES: $5 for overtime parking; $25 for parking in a no-parking zone; $50 for parking in a fire lane. "It's a fair price," figures the chief.

THE CRIME SCENE: "Occasional vandalism and minor theft." Other officers in town for court appearances, plus the presence of the sheriff's department, help keep things calm. "I'm sure that there have been some, but I can't remember a break-in," Carlson says. "And I'm reasonably sure somebody has had their car stolen, but I haven't taken any reports. We don't have any street crime, no drunks and no drug sellers on the street."

BIGGEST CRIMES IN CARLSON'S MEMORY: "A coupla years ago the First National Bank was held up, but I wasn't around for that. Then, a year or so ago, some kids with clubs, acting like juveniles, broke out the windows in my cruiser. Their fathers paid for the damages, the charges were dropped, and I'm sure their fathers tanned their fannies and they learned their lessons."

BIGGEST WORRY: "Crime from the District spreads like a cancer. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that it could be out here one day."

FAVORITE LUNCH SPOT ON THE BEAT: Al's Deli Supreme on Main Street: "Al makes a helluva sandwich!"