Why is communication between police officers and dispatchers important?

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Communication between police officers and police dispatchers is extremely important because this communication can make the difference between apprehending a suspect and losing that suspect.  It can also make the difference between an officer running into danger and an officer approaching a situation with a sufficient understanding of what is going on.  In other words, both the safety and the effectiveness of police work are strongly affected by this communication.

Police officers depend on dispatchers for most of the information that they have.  When a 911 call comes in, the dispatcher has to relay that information to the officer.  The better the communication between the dispatcher and the officer, the better the police work will be.  Imagine that an officer is being sent into a situation where shots have been fired and the person calling 911 is able to see a person with a gun.  If the dispatcher can tell the officer where the suspect is located, the officer will be safer and will be more effective than if the dispatcher simply tells the officer that the armed person is somewhere near a given address.  When police officers inform dispatch of what they are doing, the dispatch can do a better job of sending the officer the backup that is needed if the officer can clearly communicate the nature of the situation.

In short, police and dispatchers need to work as a team.  Therefore, communication between them is of utmost importance.

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