Local cops use nunchucks but not like the movies

Posted at 9:40 PM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-01 23:40:18-05

Police departments around the country have come into the spotlight recently because of their use of force policies. Denver7 found several local police departments are actually using nunchucks as a form of less-than-deadly force.

Nunchucks - like the ones you'd see in a martial arts movie. And some departments have been using them for years.

"Hand on your head! Don't move!" are just some of the sounds of a police recruit training session in Thornton. But they're not just using batons and tasers.

Thornton Police, Denver Police, and the Denver Sheriff's Office all still use specialized police nunchucks.

"I can grab an arm or a leg and quickly control it, allowing them not to leave, not to punch, not to do any of those things. And quickly control the person so we can handcuff them very quickly," a Thornton Police trainer said.

The exact name is the "Orcutt Police Nunchaku," invented by Kevin Orcutt in Thornton.

"It certainly provides them with a lot more power than just their hands, more control capabilities," he said.

The basis is pressure and torque that replaces blunt force, something law enforcement has been criticized over recently.

"If you can get that control much faster in that confrontation you're going to end it faster. Plus you're going to reduce injuries and that confrontation will not escalate to have to use more serious force," Orcutt added.

The misconception is that the law enforcement tool is swung like a Bruce Lee movie, but it's actually twisted around an arm or leg to force cooperation without doing serious harm.

"Agencies in Denver have had this tool for a long time. There's not much media about it. It's been used many many times," Orcutt added.

Every department that uses the nunchucks requires training and re-certification training every few years.

OCR estimates that around fifty departments across the country use the nunchucks.