Wisconsin is among three states nationwide that are seeing the highest use of drones by state and local public safety agencies. The number of police, fire and sheriff’s departments using drones tripled from 18 to 56 in Wisconsin this year.

Nationwide, the number of agencies with drones has more than doubled to 910, said Dan Gettinger, co-director of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College. He said one reason Wisconsin may be seeing growth is that it’s less expensive than using manned aircraft.

“Agencies that may not have the budget for manned aircraft could have the budget for a drone,” said Gettinger.

The price is relatively inexpensive for law enforcement, Gettinger said, with start-up costs hovering around $10,000. Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden said they bought three drones in the last two months to aid with search and rescue, storm damage assessments and tactical operations. Read the full story here.