Dispatch Priming

Dispatch Priming

October 27, 2023

Brentwood Police Department

9100 Brentwood Blvd.

Brentwood, CA 94513

8am - 5pm

Hosted by the Brentwood Police Department

CA POST Certified:#1345-31042-23-004

This course is eligible for ATA reimbursement through CALOES


Dispatch priming can occur when a dispatcher gives an officer erroneous information that leads to that officer unwittingly making a disastrous shooting decision. But dispatch priming isn't that simple.

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

But as a dispatcher, you can't simply omit that the caller mentioned the suspect had a gun. So what are you supposed to do?

Join us for an in-depth look into dispatch priming and learn why most people don't understand this complex phenomenon. The instructor for this course is an active-duty senior dispatcher for a busy agency. She'll share a behind the scenes look at this issue along with the specific tools you can use to avoid the negative outcomes of dispatch priming.

Target Audience:

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

In this course, you will:

  • Learn why dispatch priming happens and how to avoid negative outcomes
  • Examine real-world dispatch priming incidents
  • Examine the positive and negative aspects of bias and heuristic
  • Learn about the science of decision-making & the psychology of communication

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

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.

Payment Methods

Once you enter the student information below and click "Register", you will be taken to a checkout page where you can pay using a credit card, or you may request that an invoice be sent to your department that can be paid online or by check and sent by mail. Please note that invoices incur a $15.00 non-refundable processing fee.

This course is full, but occasionally spots open up due to cancellations or other reasons. To be added to the wait list please contact us. We also encourage you to check our Training Schedule to see if there are other courses coming up in your area that you might be able to attend.

Have questions or having problems with this form? No problem. Call or email us via our Contact page.
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