Although rural crime rates are lower than those in urban areas, public safety takes a big share of local government budgets outstate. So it has come under scrutiny in a time of fiscal restraint. At the same time, in areas where populations are dwindling and aging, security concerns can change. Telecommunications, surveillance and other technology are changing how law enforcement deals with safety. And for some, what is needed is a greater sense of personal responsibility when it comes to their safety. A special Ground Level news report explores how new approaches to old problems are offering both hope and new dilemmas. Here are some of the best photos from the project.