Dispatch Priming

Incorrect information provided to officers can cause them to make tragic shooting errors. Learn how you can avoid dispatch priming.

An intensive 8-hour course for public safety dispatchers.

Dispatch priming occurs when a dispatcher gives officers erroneous information that leads to the officers unwittingly making disastrous shooting decisions once they arrive and confront the suspect.

Researchers have only recently begun to study this complex phenomenon. One study noted that “priming officers with incorrect dispatched information about what a subject was holding significantly increased the likelihood for a shooting error while priming officers with the correct information…significantly decreased the likelihood for error.” 1

  • Learn why dispatch priming happens and how to avoid it
  • Examine real-world dispatch priming incidents
  • Examine the bias and heuristics that lead to priming
  • Learn about the science of decision-making & the psychology of communication

Your Instructor

Kristy Dorton

Kristy Dorton

Instructor Kristy Dorton is an active-duty dispatcher with the Sacramento Police Department and a California POST Master Instructor. Kristy has studied the complexities of dispatch priming and designed this course to help fellow dispatchers avoid it.

More about Kristy

Quick Facts

Target Audience:

Police dispatchers and call takers as well as sworn law enforcement officers who want to learn how to avoid dispatch priming

Course Length:

8 hours (1 day)

Course Certifications:

California POST Certified. Need certification for your state?
All of our courses are California POST certified because we are based in California. However, we present courses all over the United States and we’re happy to work with you to obtain certification in your particular state.


$289. This course is eligible for ATA reimbursement through CALOES.

Can your agency host this course?


1 Taylor, P. L. (2020). Dispatch Priming and the Police Decision to Use Deadly Force. Police Quarterly, 23(3), 311–332. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098611119896653

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