By Jim Melwert

ASTON, Pa. — Federal, state, county, and local officials held a summit at Neumann University in Delaware County Thursday.

The program is called “Keeping Children Safe In Crowds,” with a focus on safety and security during the World Meeting of Families and the Papal visit in September.

It’s part of the annual “Safe Schools Summit” held in Delaware County for the past 17 years.

It’s typically held in the fall, but District Attorney Jack Whelan said they’re holding this year’s event in the spring to prepare for The World Meeting of Families in September.

“Because the Pope is coming into Philadelphia and it’s a monumental event,” said Whelan, “We decided it’s time to now address the issues of protecting our children in large crowds.”

Everything from security concerns to weather, such as heat or possible thunderstorms.

Delaware County Councilman Dave White said the discussion included everyone, including those with special needs.

“We just want to make sure that everybody is aware that the special needs and intellectually disabled need some special attention at these events.”

White said it’s important to bring everyone and everything into these discussions.

“Hydration, transportation, the access to buildings, just being out in the sun and uncovered for long periods of time, not only for our special friends but for all individuals, said White, “We need to make sure that we’re being prepared for that.”

Also at the summit, representatives from state and local police, FBI, Homeland security, Septa, and the Philadelphia Fire Department.