Fox Point, WI – Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) Officer Thomas “Tommy” Kline died by suicide on Sept. 1.
The 47-year-old officer reached out to WITI by phone just moments before his death, according to the news outlet.
Officer Kline called the assignment desk from Doctors Park, a secluded beach area along Lake Michigan.
The off-duty officer spoke to WITI about the stress of this past summer, then said he planned to take his own life.
Officer Kline died just moments later, according to the news outlet.
Police found his body at the park shortly thereafter.
WITI said it shared the story about Officer Kline’s final phone all at the request of his family.
Milwaukee Police Association (MPA) Dale Bormann said that Officer Kline was a very well-known and well-liked member of the MPD.
“This year has been extremely difficult for our officers dealing with what’s going on in the streets right now,” Bormann told WITI. “We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of ourselves and taking care of each other.”
Officer Kline, a Milwaukee native, served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an officer for four years prior to attending the Milwaukee Police Academy, according to his obituary.
He joined the MPD on July 25, 2001.
“From a young age, he always wanted to be a police officer and have the opportunity to help people,” his obituary read. “His maternal grandfather was Captain of the State Patrol and inspired Tommy with stories of work whenever they were together.”
Officer Kline’s family said he will be remembered as a kind-hearted man who had empathy for everyone he met.
“He had recently been awarded for his dedication to the homeless in the city of Milwaukee,” according to the tribute. “He was always there to lend a hand and will be missed dearly.”
Officer Kline leaves behind his parents, sister, nephew, niece, and many friends and extended family members.
He will be laid to rest on Sept. 14.
Milwaukee Officer Tom Kline was an amazing cop and community partner. He called Fox6 to talk about the toll this summer has taken on Officers right before he took his own life. And no one is talking about it. #hislifemattered @TheOfficerTatum @DonutOperator pic.twitter.com/gs80jA4NTc
— Ashley (@Ashley67742464) September 3, 2020
Tonight City Hall is lit purple & teal for National Suicide Prevention Week, until World Suicide Prevention Day on Thurs, September 10, in loving memory of Officer Tom Kline & all who have died by suicide. May City Hall’s lights be a symbol of hope & healing & that help is here. pic.twitter.com/IFiAH05TgY
— Milwaukee Downtown (@MilwDowntown) September 5, 2020
So sad to hear of the passing of @MilwaukeePolice Officer Tom Kline. Our favorite police officer in Milwaukee, but more importantly a friend- on or off duty. Rest in peace. #milwaukeepd #milwaukee #BackTheBlue #MentalHealthAwareness pic.twitter.com/RiOOIZT2Nm
— Madeline Templin (@madelineleigh15) September 3, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Milwaukee Police Department Officer Thomas “Tommy” Kline, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.