Dispatcher Training

21 Week Training Program

Training is divided into an Orientation period and three structured on-the-job phases. During each phase the trainee is supervised by a Communications Training Officer (CTO).

The Orientation period is two weeks in a classroom setting. New hires will learn some of the basics: Department structure, communications duties, geography, and computer operations.

During the five weeks of Phase One new hires learn more of the basics: Communication equipment, department forms, manuals/books and supplemental information, call types and appropriate line of questioning, plus state teletype systems and NCIC. The trainee will begin taking actual calls during this phase.

Phase Two is five weeks in which the tasks are progressively more difficult and advanced. New hires learn Fire Department and Cass County dispatching as well as performing the duties of the Call Taker position.

Phase Three is divided between dispatching for Fargo Police, Moorhead Police and Clay County. Four weeks of training is completed on Fargo Police Channel 1 and three weeks of training is completed on Moorhead / Clay County radios.


The CTO has many different roles he or she fills: Teacher, coach, mentor, role model, evaluator, motivator, and counselor.

Through daily evaluations of performance and behavior, the CTO provides a base of information on the progress of a trainee over a given period of time. The Daily Observation Report (DOR) provides objective evaluations based on standardized Guidelines for Evaluation, giving both trainer and trainee a common ground in which to work on performance improvements.