Pope Francis’ security effort gets first test in Washington

A child is escorted back before Pope Francis called for the child to be brought to him, during a parade in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The massive security apparatus protecting Pope Francis on his historic, six-day trip to the United States has gotten its first test.

During a brief parade Wednesday after a White House reception, a 5-year-old girl was able to make her way through a security barrier and onto the pope’s route. After a quick moment with a pair of security agents, the girl was whisked to Francis’ modified, open-air Jeep popemobile, where the pope gave her a hug and kiss.

Security efforts surrounding the pontiff in the United States are a far cry from the free-wheeling motorcade routes of many of his past pilgrimages. Here, nearly every move has been pre-planned. And for the first time, tickets are being required for most of Francis’ popemobile processions.

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