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Under a new federal law, local law enforcement agencies will be free to start using drone aircraft in police activities within the next 90 days.

The law, signed by President Obama last week, will also require the Federal Aviation Administration to develop rules permitting a wide array of commercial and private uses of drones by 2015. Non-commercial civilian use of drones is now permitted on an experimental basis.

At least one town, Charlottesville, Va., has adopted local rules to bar use of the unmanned aerial vehicles by police.

But Charlottesville is a community that has been very restrictive in letting its police use ground-based video cameras for surveillance activities.

Evanston, which has an extensive system of police surveillance cameras, might take a different approach.

And, with drone prices now starting at just a few hundred dollars, cost may no longer be a barrier to their use.

What do you think?

Should Evanston police have drone aircraft?

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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