They make the guys come do a "sit-along" in dispatch once in their careers - fresh out of the academy, before they ever hit they field. Which is better than never, but they are still so green that they don't know or really understand any of what we are doing. Every question is answered with a "Yes, ma'am" or "No, ma'am" and they never look you in the eye. They don't ask questions, are fidgety sitting down for so long, and don't retain a single bit of it.
I - for one - am glad that dispatch ride-alongs with patrol are encouraged by the department. It gives me a better understanding of a lot of things that get forgotten over time - timing on calls (like a reminder of how long a felony stop really takes - forever), where the bad radio spots are, what dispatch sounds like on the other side, all the good 10-7 spots, to meet the "regulars" that they always deal with on their beat, everything. It's also a nice time to put some names to faces, and figure out what I can do to make it a little easier for the both of us on a daily basis. I work in a metro area, so there's many different areas that we cover. I would love if they let us go on ride-alongs one in each area a year, but that's overkill - they say.
But I'm still "new" and not many others feel the same way.
Plus, who doesn't want to have the experience of rolling code 3 somewhere, or what a traffic break feels like?