Over 300 certificates of use have been awarded to domestic police departments, allowing (unmanned ariel vehicles) for policing. The FAA decides who and when will be able to use the drones in active duty. The drone, widely used in Afghanistan in anti-terrorist raids, cost about a fifth of what police helicopters cost/year to stay in the air. They carry night-vision equipment and other enhancements.
Although the Department of Homeland Security says the drones will only be used in special circumstances (highway traffic accidents, missing persons), who doubts that soon or later, drones will be on regular patrol over population centers, able to record our every move.
Although the imminent use of drones on domestic police forces is startling and creepy, it seems possible they could be used to reduce crime in high-crime, high-drug sales areas. As always, the technology is neutral: it could be used for the good or against populations.