LaToya Queen was a veteran dispatcher for the West Palm Beach Police Department. Because of her heroic, life-saving work on a 911 call last July, she was named Emergency Communications Operator of the Year at this year's Law Enforcement Awards.
Sadly, she did not live to see the moment. LaToya passed away suddenly last month after surgery. She was 40-years-old.
Telecommunications manager Suzette Dodd says LaToya was a go-to trainer who was promoted to supervisor in February. She says: "LaToya was passionate about her job, she did it with pride and she was determined. It was a very difficult time for us, it still is because it's still fresh."
Before LaToya's sudden passing, she was informed about her award nomination, though she did not know she would win. Dodd says she was very excited about it. "Oh pride, oh my goodness she talked about it every day. We heard about it every day because she had that personality."
In the 911 call was honored for, LaToya helped a man get medical care after he was in distress. He called 911 but she couldn't hear him on the other end of the line. She spent 8 minutes trying to get the man to answer.
Dodd says: "She saved his life, because he didn’t know where he was, and she got the description of his vehicle, tried to get him to describe what he saw around him and used her knowledge of the area too to help her identify where he was."
When that man made it to the hospital, it was determined he was having a possible heart attack.
Dodd says LaToya will always be remembered for her hard work and her spirit. She says: "Really special person, you knew she existed. She made herself known, her voice was special and unique."