By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Nutter and World Meeting of Families officials have declared the Pope’s visit a success, providing hundreds of thousands of visitors a glimpse of the Catholic leader, with few problems reported.
Mayor Nutter would give no crowd estimate, though other officials say it was 850,000, a bit under the million-plus once predicted, but he said that’s not how to judge the success of the event anyway.
“Did everything work well? The answer is yes. Did people seem to have a good time? The answer is yes. Did a lot of people come out? The answer is yes. Were people safe and secure– participants and Pope Francis– the answer again is yes.”
The head of Philadelphia’s Secret Service, David Beach, agreed. He says it was the largest National Special Security Event in the agency’s history.
“It took a lot of coordination between a lot of agencies and a lot of hard work and sacrifice by a lot of selfless individuals.”
There were just three event-related arrests, the most serious an attempt to bring drugs through a checkpoint.
The mayor says an after-action report will address the glitches there were, including lines at checkpoints that prevented some people from getting on the Parkway for Sunday’s mass.