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The late Thomas Price Broumel, a former town of Bel Air police chief and commissioner, aspired to create a safe future for all.

Nearly six years after his death, Mr. Broumel’s memory is doing just that.

Last month, the Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center Inc., also known as SARC, honored Mr. Broumel with a special sign unveiling of Broumel Hall, which will house the organization’s Legal Services Program.

“Mr. Broumel had a history of dedication to safety in the community,” Cristie Kahler, development director at SARC, said.

The Greater Bel Air Community Foundation donated $20,000 to renovate much needed office space at SARC in memory of Mr. Broumel.

“They talked about how fitting it is now,” Kahler said. “They’re using space to help people continue to find safety in their lives. He was a supporter of community safety.”

Mr. Broumel, who was 65 when he died after attending a University of Maryland football game in 2004, had opened a youth center in the same space that is now named in his honor.

“He was instrumental in starting the first youth center here. Over time, it’s changed to be many different things,” SARC’s Kahler said. “He had a history with the teen center and his legacy lives on now in that exact same space.”

A Bel Air native, Mr. Broumel was a star football player at Bel Air High who went on to play at Maryland. He served as a deputy state fire marshal and once commanded the agency’s bomb squad. He also served with sheriff’s office, where he was chief deputy under then-sheriff Robert Comes in the early 1990s.

SARC began in July 1978 with a 24-hour helpline in response to an increase in the number of reports of sexual assaults in Harford County and the lack of services in the community to help those victims.

Now, 31 years later, SARC continues to grow and develop new programs for victims in the community.

Today, SARC offers a 24-hour Helpline, crisis intervention, counseling, legal advocacy and representation in civil proceedings, a confidential safehouse, community outreach and education.

SARC receives funding from federal, state and county governments. The organization is also a United Way partner agency.

“We do grants with them and also receive support from foundations,” Kahler said. “We also have fundraising efforts, such as the bull roast, which is coming up this weekend [March 17].”

On average, SARC serves about 2,000 men, women and children a year, according to Kahler.

“It’s open to any victim— male, female, child, any victim,” Kahler said.

Harford County has been quite responsive to SARC and its needs.

“I think we’re fortunate to be a part of a great community that’s very supportive of SARC services and the families we’re assisting,” Kahler said. “The community is a part of it all. They always step up, whether it’s through time, energy, effort or donations.”

To learn more about SARC, call the 24-hour Helpline, 410-836-8431, or visit www.sarc-maryland.org.


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