IN PICTURES: 15 current and future uses for drones

For a world already on edge about NSA spying, drone technology is just another reason to keep looking over our shoulders.

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Long wing of the law Law enforcement use of drones is on the rise. Drones are considered an affordable alternative for local and state law enforcement officials to owning a helicopter. The cost savings, according to Texas' Montgomery County Sherriff's Office, is $30 an hour to operate a Shadowhawk drone versus $500 an hour for a helicopter.

The police helicopter-style drone pictured here comes equipped with a high-definition camera and infrared sensors for detecting and tracking objects from below. Mesa County has purchased a second drone from Falcon UAV that it credits for locating lost hikers in a remote area.

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IN PICTURES: 15 current and future uses for drones

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