Thomas Price Broumel, 65, Bel Air police chief

December 01, 2004

Thomas Price Broumel, a former Bel Air police chief, town commissioner and deputy commander of the Harford County Sheriff's Office, died of a heart attack Saturday at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park. He was 65.

Mr. Broumel, who had held many state and county positions over the years, suffered the heart attack outside Byrd Stadium in College Park after watching the football team of his alma mater, University of Maryland, end its season with a victory over Wake Forest.

"His favorite pastime was Maryland football. On Saturday, he tailgated and watched the game with his brother-in-law and a friend," said his wife of seven years, the former Barbara A. Zilka. "He yelled, screamed, hollered and had a good time. After the game, he got back into the car, answered a question and then closed his eyes. That's when he had the fatal heart attack."

FOR THE RECORD - Thomas Price Broumel:
An obituary for Thomas Price Broumel in Wednesday's editions of The Sun omitted a survivor. Mr. Broumel is also survived by his son, Paul M. Broumel of Bel Air.
The Sun regrets the error.

Mr. Broumel was born and raised in Bel Air, and played football for Bel Air High School. After graduating in 1957, he attended the University of Maryland for two years on a football scholarship.

He served in the Army for several years in the early 1960s before joining the state fire marshal's office in 1968 as an investigator. He became the office's regional commander for Harford, Cecil and Kent counties until the mid-1980s.

Mr. Broumel was chairman of Bel Air's planning board in 1981, then was vice chairman of the town commissioners from 1982 until 1985. He was the town police chief from 1985 to 1990, when he was named second-in-command of the Harford sheriff's office with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

After leaving the sheriff's office in 1995, he became head of operations for the Harford Mall's security detail, where earlier he had been chief of security. Since this year, he had been an inspector for the Harford County Planning and Zoning Department.

He was a former president of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, a member of the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Co., and former board member of the Harford County Farm Fair.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 1 St. Mary's Church Road, Abingdon.

Survivors, in addition to his wife, include two daughters, Ellen M. Broumel of Forest Hill and Martha P. Gwinner of Bel Air; three stepdaughters, Elaine M. Merkley of Owings Mills, and Robin E. Merkley and Katie B. Merkley, both of Bel Air; a brother, Charles Broumel of Phoenix; and four grandchildren. He was married for many years to the former Mary E. Simmons, who died in 1996.

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