Photos: The Price of Safety in rural Minnesota

People & Places ·

1 Chief deputy Karl Erickson has worked in Polk County for nearly three decades and says law enforcement resources are often stretched thin. Here he checks on a sleeping motorist along Highway 102 on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. 
2 "I know people feel a lot more comfortable when law enforcement is around," says John Frohrip, city administrator for Fertile. "I know I feel more comfortable when law enforcement is around." However, Frohrip says his town simply does not have the dollars to pay for dedicated officers. Frohrip was photographed at the city offices on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. 
3 A Polk County sheriff's vehicle provides a frame for downtown Fertile in this Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, photograph. The lack of local police presence has become the new normal in much Polk County. Only Crookston and East Grand Forks continue to maintain full-time police departments. 
4 Ojibwe tribal member Fred Isham throws sage on a fire that's heating stones used in the sweat lodge behind him. Sage is a sacred, purifying medicine for the Ojibwe. Isham, a participant in the Cass County - Leech Lake Tribal Wellness Court, uses the sweat lodge and other cultural ceremonies to help him stay sober. The wellness court program is the first of its kind in the country. 
5 A police camera is stationed high on a light pole along the lake walk near downtown Duluth, Minn. 
6 Brittaney Letourneau (front), Shirley Jamison (back left), Jacob McCarthy (back center) and Cheryl McCarthy (back right) enjoy an afternoon on the lake walk Tuesday afternoon near downtown Duluth, Minn. Areas of the lake walk in Duluth are now monitored by police cameras. 
7 Six members of the West Central Minnesota S.W.A.T. team ready for a training exercise on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at the Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood, Minn. The team was established in 2007 thanks to collaboration among five counties. 
8 With the disbanding of the Bird Island police department, Deputy Sheriff Jeff Nelson is now taking on the responsibility of patrolling the small community in Central Minnesota. 
9 Guy Adams, photographed Monday, July 23, 2012 near Rockford, Minn., is Heartland Security's general manager. The business helps farmers and others in rural locations watch over their property remotely using things like video cameras, temperature sensors and mobile phone apps.