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Delaware County Summit focuses on large scale events including Papal Visit

In just over three months, more than 2 million visitors from around the world will come to the Philadelphia region to celebrate mass with Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families in September. In anticipation of this historical occasion and the inevitable impact that the visit will have on the region and surrounding counties, District Attorney Jack Whelan has partnered with Neumann University to hold a day-long summit for educators, school leaders, and public safety agencies, offering resources for schools to prepare for large scale events and transportation plans to events outside the county, including the World Meeting of Families.

In partnership with Neumann University, a catholic University Founded and sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office is bringing together leaders of public safety agencies that are tasked with safety and security responsibilities at large public events who will share how they mitigate risk through collaborative planning and by aggressively maintaining situational awareness during events. At the summit, resources from local, county, state and federal public safety partners will be offered to schools, to help educators with event planning so that they can lead more confidently. Additionally, a new interactive program on active shooters will be presented by the Pennsylvania State Police.

For 17 years the District Attorney has been holding Safe Schools Summits, partnering with school officials, public safety officials and first responders to improve school safety in Delaware County. This year’s summit at Neumann University attracted more than 250 educators, first responders, and public safety officials and expanded to include schools, colleges and universities from across southeastern Pennsylvania.

District Attorney Jack Whelan expressed the importance of being prepared in the face of large scale public events including the upcoming Papal visit.  “The visit of Pope Francis will be a time for the Philadelphia region and for Delaware County to celebrate the critical role of family here and around the world,” said Whelan.  “The visit creates a unique opportunity for Delaware County schools to provide their students with a once in a life-time opportunity in experiencing an international event in their own backyard. With the support of Delaware County Council, we are doing everything possible to equip our first responders with the resources they need to support schools’ plans to celebrate this historic occasion while ensuring the safety of our schools.”

Topics to be covered include the importance of organizational leadership in safety planning and response; how to identify internal and external threats; tools to utilize social media as an intelligence resource; quick actions guides for threats or acts of violence; the importance of transit safety for your group; and planning for medical emergencies.
A broad range of agencies will present at the summit to offer resources, including the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Bomb Squad, Pennsylvania State Police, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The United States Attorney’s Office, Philadelphia Fire Department EMS Division, the United States Secret Service and the FBI Domestic Terrorism Squad.