The police department of a Northern California town has decided to equip its 20 officers with nunchaku sticks, a martial arts weapon they say will help them take down suspects.

The police department in the town of 10,000 people was looking for a versatile tool that would limit injuries to officers and the people they detained - but that would still be an effective means of subduing an unruly suspect. Anderson's top brass decided nunchakus were the way to go, said Sgt. Casey Day.

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

Day was recently certified to train the department's officers on the proper use of the nunchackus, also known as nunchucks. Officers won't be required to use nunchakus, he said. But if officers decide to use them, they must pass a 16-hour training program.

On the website of the nunchakus' manufacturer, Orcutt Police Defensive Systems Inc., the restraint technique shows a male officer using the nunchakus to grip the ankle of a man who is kicking his foot toward the officer's face. The photo also depicts a female officer using them to hold a man's wrist.

Day, a 15-year police veteran, said he has given up his baton for nunchakus.

"I see the value and the safety they bring to me," he said.

Day hasn't used his nunchakus, but is confident he will use them properly.

"I don't go around looking for trouble," he said.