President Obama has signed into law P.L. 114-267, requiring DHS to review ways to strengthen security at the nation’s northern border, including how to improve recruitment and retention in positions that in many cases are difficult to staff.

At 5,500 miles, the northern border has 120 border crossings, many of which are small and in isolated areas, said a joint statement from sponsoring Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Kelly Ayotte R-N.H.

“While meeting with the dedicated border agents and officers who serve in incredibly remote locations, many told me about the difficulty they face in recruiting and retaining the workforce they need to keep our communities safe,” Heitkamp said.

The study is to focus on recruiting and retaining personnel; identifying ways to better combat drug and human trafficking; identifying technology that could expand the reach of border agents; and finding vulnerabilities in cooperation with Canadian, state, county, local, and tribal law enforcement.