PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Facebook post by a Florida law enforcement agency that showed young children grasping what looked to some as a grenade launcher was causing some stir online.
On Tuesday, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office posted photos from the agency’s “Touch-A-Truck” event that took place at the Francis Youth Sports Complex in Palatka.
According to the sheriff’s office, the event was geared to “build relationships with our kids and parents.”
But on Facebook, some critics raised concerns the event could glorify weapons with some users saying the kids were holding “rocket launchers” and “Children do not need to be learning about deadly weapons. You should be ashamed of yourselves.”
The sheriff’s office says the concern is unfounded and prompted by misinformation. According to comments made by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook account, the kids were handling smoke canister launchers and were “handling the items in an organized manner with the supervision of several deputies.”
The Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The Florida Times-Union that the launchers were real but unloaded.
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told Action News Jax that it has no plans to remove the post, and that they’ve done these demonstrations for years and this is the first time there’s been an issue.