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Police combat 'aggressive' image by trading in batons for nunchucks

By Ben Hooper
Police combat 'aggressive' image by trading in batons for nunchucks
Police in Anderson, Calif., announced they are trading in their batons for nunchakus, or nunchucks. Photo by Mark Payne/Shutterstock.com

ANDERSON, Calif., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- A California police department announced it is working to offset the image of officers as "aggressive" by trading in batons for nunchakus, or nunchucks.

The Anderson Police Department said its 20 officers are trading in their batons for the nunchakus, weapons made famous by martial arts superstar Bruce Lee and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Michelangelo.

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"It gives us the ability to control a suspect instead of striking them," Sgt. Casey Day told the Los Angeles Times.

Day said the weapons, which typically involve two pieces of wood or other rigid material joined by a metal chain, will allow police to detain resisting suspects with less risk of injury for those being arrested.

"The Anderson Police Department is implementing the police nunchaku as a tool to more effectively arrest, control, and subdue non-compliant suspects," Chief Michael Johnson told NBC News. "The nunchaku can be deployed to more compassionately gain compliance from a suspect through pain application opposed to striking, as customary with the side-handled or straight baton."

"In an era where the general public is extremely sensitive to police techniques and use of force issues, [nunchakus offer] another force option that may offset some of the more aggressive perceptions the public has about police intervention," Johnson said.

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