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District Wharf

About District Wharf

District Wharf is known as the place “Where D.C. Meets its Water,” and it’s easy to see why. Sprawling for a mile along the Potomac River, The Wharf offers outdoor seating, excellent dining and shopping, and a water taxi system transporting visitors to and from National Harbor, Old Town Alexandria, and Georgetown.

This project was developed by Hoffman-Marquette, with the goal of transforming an underused area with great potential into a unique, multi-use development. The plan was to combine retail, multi-family, office, and entertainment spaces, while allowing visitors to arrive by foot, public transit, cars, and boats. Phase I was opened in October 2017, and Phase II will be delivered in 2022.

For such a large project, security was always going to be a key consideration. Visitors needed to feel safe without feeling restricted or watched by security guards. The Wharf’s long waterline and proximity to DC landmarks make security even more important

The Challenge

Hoffman-Marquette needed powerful security that would be up and running from day one. As the site was under construction, there was no way to know who would occupy each building. However, it was vital that site security have access to all common areas while allowing tenants access to security in each of their properties.

The system needed to be unified, yet separable. Certain cameras needed to be able to be viewed by building tenants without duplicating systems and cameras. This was impossible with existing systems. One of the biggest challenges with this project centered around space. Video surveillance systems typically require a relatively large amount of space for computers, network equipment, and recorders. However, the developers needed the lightest possible footprint for security, to maximize real-estate that could be rented out. With 220 cameras on the property, it simply wasn’t feasible for all of these to be continually monitored. Instead, this project required a smart system that would alert officers to issues. Video also needed to be easily shared with authorities such as police and the Coast Guard in the event of an emergency.

The Solution

CheckVideo was the only video security company able to overcome all of the above challenges. A video wall was set up in the command center that could be configured flexibly through a web browser, even remotely. This system included AI-driven video analytics to serve as a force multiplier. This means that their security officers can be out patrolling in the field instead of sitting in an office watching monitors. Most of the time, a single officer is able to monitor all videos since these videos are shown based on triggering events such as someone loitering in a particular area. Officers can also respond faster, thus preventing crimes.

The cameras themselves are compact and unobtrusive, however, they’re also 4-megapixel day/night cameras, producing high detail color images even at night. CheckVideo’s cloud-managed system requires little on-site infrastructure, and equipment is easily stored in network closets wherever space is available. This offers the best of both worlds - all of the functionality of an enterprise system without the need for a large amount of space.

Security at the District Wharf Today

District Wharf continues to attract visitors from near and far with sensational water views, the Municipal Fish Market, and the Anthem, a concert and events venue with a capacity of up to 6,000 people.

Since The District Wharf is such a popular location, the security office is kept busy with multiple investigations every week. Video investigations for incidents generally require officers to spend a huge amount of time finding and exporting video evidence. Historically, this has meant that only the most serious incidents are investigated.

Diane Groomes, formerly an Assistant Chief of Police for the Metropolitan Police Department is Director of Security and Public Safety at The Wharf. During her 27 years on the force, her team used a variety of CCTV systems, most of which were too complex. CheckVideo’s ease of use makes it possible for her to use the system multiple times a day, even enabling her to easily tap into the system from home or her mobile phone. “I’m proud to say right now we have not had one violent incident. No robberies, no felony assault,” she says.

One of the most important considerations for a security system spanning such a large, busy area is the health of that system. The CheckVideo system proactively monitors its own health - continuing to function like new. It checks for bugs and faults and will notify service technicians if necessary. CheckVideo’s cloud managed system provides a complete solution for The Wharf, by alerting officers to issues and by allowing IT staff to provide a reliable system that is cost-effective to deploy and maintain.

"Our biggest event is the Cherry Blossom which will be coming up again and our holiday parade of light boats. Each time we get 50,000-75,000 people. There have been almost 12 million visitors on the site and again we’re proud. CheckVideo technology helps me and my team to keep us safe and sound."

— Diane Groomes, Director of Security

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