PEACE OFFICER OF THE MONTH: Sgt. Scott Royden Zimmerman, 40-year-old chief pilot for the Maryland Natural Resources Police Aviation Section.
JURISDICTION: All 10,577 square miles of Maryland and its coastal waters, as well as neighboring states of Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware, where he is sworn in as a deputy federal game warden. MISSION: As head of a two-pilot helicopter unit based in Easton, his duties include searching for and rescuing boaters in the Chesapeake Bay, enforcing hunting and fishing laws, eradicating domestic marijuana, apprehending illegal clammers or oysterers, monitoring oil spills and tracing radio-banded fish and game. FAVORITE DUTY: Going up with a spotter to work with up to six cars on the ground to track down jacklighters, who hunt deer at night by aid of artificial light, which mesmerizes the animal so it makes no attempt to flee. "I get a pump of adrenalin when I spot a jacklighter. Everything you know as an aviator and a police officer comes into play at one time. When it all goes right, I just guide the ground officers in and the guys jacklighting don't even know how they got caught." VEHICLE: Bell Jet Ranger, a turbine-powered single-rotor helicopter equipped with 3 million candlepower Spectro-Lab night sun. "We only use the light if a single officer is making a bust on a car with weapons in it or to guide officers to a house after the suspect has made it home." EQUIPMENT: Orange Nomex flame-retardant flight suit. Gentex SPH2 aviator helmet equipped with military-style night-vision goggles. Headset and microphone to monitor up to seven channels at once over the chopper's five radios. Smith & Wesson 9mm semiautomatic pistol. Survival vest with flare gun for illumination. Smoke flares, knife, signaling mirrors, compass, inflatable life vest, chemical light sticks, emergency strobe light and first aid kit. ON THE PEOPLE HE BUSTS: "If some- body's hunting strictly for food, they're probably not jacklighting. It's a whole lot easier to just wait in a tree somewhere during the day. Jacklighters are either market hunting -- selling to restaurants -- or after a big set of antlers for their wall, or coming out of a tavern just too drunk to have any more sense."