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Shortly after Memorial Day weekend, I walked into the Dewey Beach Police station and asked the dispatcher for the complaint log. Hesitantly, she turned it over. I could see why: the scribbled ballpoint complaints of assault, disorderly conduct and noise reached into the hundreds. 1.7 miles of beach. Bedlam.

I started taking down dates, times and complaint numbers for later, when I I’d talk to Sgt. Cliff Dempsey. One in particular stuck out: 89-09-539, reported at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 23. In the description column, the dispatcher wrote “Bagpipes.”

When I asked Dempsey about complaint 89-09-539, he smirked.

“We get some DC firefighters every year,” he said. “One of ‘em plays bagpipes.”

“Bagpipes,” I said.

“Yep. Every year. Lemme see that,” he said, taking the complaint log. “8:30. That’s early for him.”