<p>Ollrogge Lina (left)—police chief of Usedom, <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/germany-guide/">Germany</a>—and officer Stefan Schult patrol the beach along with a performer dressed as a seagull on August 7.</p><p>A popular beach resort, Usedom has seen a 22 percent decrease in crime in the first half of 2012, as compared with the same period in 2011.</p><p>(See <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/beach-photos/">more beach pictures</a>.)</p><p><strong>Why We Love It</strong></p><p>"The composition and harsh, bright lighting is straightforward and routine. The subject matter is anything but. Which makes me question who's really wearing the costume—the gull or the police?"—<em>Monica Corcoran, senior photo editor</em></p>

Beach Patrol

Ollrogge Lina (left)—police chief of Usedom, Germany—and officer Stefan Schult patrol the beach along with a performer dressed as a seagull on August 7.

A popular beach resort, Usedom has seen a 22 percent decrease in crime in the first half of 2012, as compared with the same period in 2011.

(See more beach pictures.)

Why We Love It

"The composition and harsh, bright lighting is straightforward and routine. The subject matter is anything but. Which makes me question who's really wearing the costume—the gull or the police?"—Monica Corcoran, senior photo editor

Photograph by Jens Koehler, DAPD/AP

Pictures We Love: Best of August

A stuck squirrel, a modern-day mummy ritual, and a police officer-turned-seagull feature among our favorite pictures of the month.

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