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August 26, 2021

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Case study

National Mall in Washington DC implements video analytics system to improve security and safety

Washington DC’s National Mall, which is home to monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, has implemented a video content analytics system to improve security and safety of visitors.

Part of a $3.3million technology donation from systems integration provider Convergint, the solution is designed to make video surveillance footage searchable, actionable and quantifiable, helping the National Park Service and the United States Park Police improve safety and visitor experience to the Mall’s monuments, museums and parks.

The donation from Convergint, which has been working with the National Mall since 2019, has resulted in upgraded legacy systems and expanded the security coverage.

Phase one of the project included the enhancement of a centralised monitoring centre, intercom stations, public address systems, and upgrading from analogue to IP-based cameras.

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Among the 10 other vendors joining forces to meet the challenge was BriefCam, with its video analytics solution (which you can find out more about here from IFSEC Tech Talks) now providing real-time alerts and the ability to search and filter video. This is said to be improving security, as it allows the Park Service to investigate and respond quickly to events via more informed decisions.

“We very much appreciate BriefCam’s role in this technology donation, designed to help us optimise National Mall operations, safety and visitor experience,” said Deputy Chief Mark Adamchik, Commander of the Field Operations Division for the United States Park Police.

The analytics system is helping in several ways, including:

  • Preparing Sites for Increased Traffic: The NPS can determine the high pedestrian traffic areas and use that information to strategically post signage for visitors. This ensures that important messages are viewable by the visitors and maintains the scenic landscape by reducing sign pollution.
  • Maximising the Mall Layout: By analysing data on where people tend to congregate, the NPS can identify opportunities for concession sales and emergency medical services, as well as attractions that could be made more child-friendly.
  • Ensuring Crowd Control: BriefCam’s proximity detection and crowd density capabilities can help the NPS monitor crowding patterns and hotspot areas to help manage crowd sizes. They can even set a custom threshold for crowds and receive real-time alerts when occupancy limits are exceeded. This will be especially crucial until the pandemic has passed.
  • Locating Lost Children: Video review capabilities provide high-powered technology to help the NPS reunite parents with their lost children.

On the eastern end of the National Mall sits the US Capitol building, which was the subject of riots in January 2021, with many questioning the security processes in place to mitigate against such incidents.

Find out more information about the donation and project here. 

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