Technology the answer for northern border patrol

US-Canada border too long, rugged for additional border cops to make a difference, officials say.

Technology, not manpower, is what will keep the US safe from terrorists attempting to cross the Canadian border, border authorities said in a meeting with the Congressional Homeland Security Committee, the Seattle Times reports.

"I can't say how many agents are needed," said Roland Henley, CBP's chief patrol agent for its Blaine Sector, responding to questions from Democratic members of the committee about their staffing needs.

"I do know that high-tech tools, like UAVs, are something we need to look at seriously." He was referring to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which are remotely controlled, camera-equipped aircraft used for surveillance.

Not all members bought the argument. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, pointed out the the Millennium Bomber was apprehended in northern Washington and said, "It's difficult terrain, and I think increased border agents would be the solution here."

Complicating matters is the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and something called the 2009 World Police & Fire Games (sounds fun!), both taking place in British Columbia and expected to bring 325,000 spectators to the area.