Born July 13, 1977, Charles Edward Sadler grew up in South Hempstead, Long Island. Charlie’s parents, Charles Edward and Beatrice, were model parents. His father was the superintendent for the local utility company and his mom a homemaker. His upbringing provided a solid foundation for success.
Charlie had some tough jobs after high school. He was a waiter at several restaurants, including the Rainforest Café. With this restaurant for several years as an international trainer, Charlie was instrumental in establishing restaurants in several locations abroad including Manchester England. And that is how he learned that hard work is needed to make a difference.
After graduating from South Side High School in Rockville Centre, he quickly became involved in volunteer work. As a volunteer fireman for South Hempstead Fire Department, like his grandfather, father and his two younger brothers, Charlie quickly rose to the rank of Lieutenant. His instinct to help people is strong and has driven Charlie to want to help in a much larger way.
Although very happy doing volunteer fire work, Charlie wanted more. Shortly after graduating Hofstra University and Molloy College with majors in history and political science, in July 2005, he entered the police academy determined to make a difference.
After graduating from the police academy in 2005, Charlie went to the 115th precinct for 6 months. Shortly thereafter he was transferred to the 104th and has been here ever since. Throughout the years, he has been a welcomed constant for our community; just in the past 4 years we have had 3 different commanding officers, but there always, was Charlie. He has been dedicated to our community for almost all his career.
Charlie is a highly trained professional, and was given the challenge of coordinating the auxiliary police unit. Starting with 16 volunteer police, he steadily grew the unit to 49. His work in this area has been so impressive that he now teaches auxiliary coordination at the police academy. The statistics in this area are impressive – this volunteer unit donated over 12,000 hours to our community last year!
Speaking of his training, although we can’t go into great detail, Charlie has significant knowledge of counter-terrorism. NYC is lucky to have people like him who take the time to protect us from these threats.
There is a reason Charlie has been put in charge of volunteers, he is no stranger to volunteering aside from his work as a volunteer fireman. He has donated a significant amount of his time to NY Says Thank You (newyorksaysthankyoufoundation.org). As a volunteer, he is part of the “advance” team which frames out homes for needy families. Not to mention that his father showed him how to frame a home and also volunteers side by side with Charlie. The 2 Charlies drove over 26 hours to Oklahoma to help build out an 8000 square foot barn for an animal rescue center. Check out the documentary CBS did on this effort featuring Charlie: tinyurl.com/charlessadler.
After performing this volunteer work for a while, Charlie was faced with a set of challenges that would test his resolve and as expected, he faced these challenges head on.
The Challenges and Triumphs
Charlie was diagnosed with a melanoma shortly after he was married in 2012. He had a successful surgery and did not miss one day of work! But as impressive as that is, he was to be tested again. He and his wife have been residents of Long Beach since 2011. When Hurricane Sandy hit in October of 2012, their home was lost, along with many of the homes of his friends, who are NYPD/NYFD brothers. Charlie went right to work helping others first. He continued to work with NY Says Thank You to rebuild homes for his community, selfless as usual. He joined the Long Beach Volunteer Fire Dept in 2014. But his family was faced with yet another challenge.
Charlie’s wife, Gina, a social worker, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer not long after the they lost their home to the hurricane. This turned out to be a remarkable ordeal as she later learned her diagnosis was incorrect. Gina had a rare condition with which she was born with, a second spleen. It took quite a while and a battery of tests to get to the bottom of her condition. After extensive surgery to remove the second spleen at Sloan Kettering, she was on the mend, but not without a significant amount of worrying for her life.
As karma usually does play a role in our lives, Charlie finally received some good news. The charity that he had worked so closely with, NY Says Thank You, selected him as a recipient of a free home framing! But in his normal style, Charlie continued paying ‘sweat equity’ toward this home. He worked on the house from 6am to 12pm every day while also working 3pm to 11pm shifts at the 104th. After being displaced from his original home for nearly 2 years, he was able to move into his new one in July of last year.
Karma was not done giving back. Charlie is now the proud father of his 6-month old daughter, Lucianna Elizabeth. Maybe Karma will continue to give back with a detective shield? We certainly hope so, Charlie has earned it.
Charlie’s work in the community is well documented. He has taken guns off our streets and saved a child with breathing problems. While a firefighter in 2004, he performed CPR on a lifeless woman for 11 minutes eventually bringing her back! These are just two of the lives that he has positively impacted.
Charlie is very humble and does not want to be rewarded for this work; he just wants to know that people in the 104th Precinct feel safe. That is his reward, as he puts it. Charlie quotes Sir Robert Peel’s 9 Principals of Law Enforcement #7:
“The police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police are the only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the intent of the community welfare.”
He lives by these words. He has had several mentors along the way that he explicitly wanted mentioned in this article because of their positive influence on him. The two previous 104th commanders, Deputy Inspectors Michael Cody and Christopher Manson, taught Charlie a lot about community policing. The current commanding officer, Captain Mark Wachter, has Charlie’s respect as well as has given him the opportunity to be a large part of the Community Affairs unit. Along with his partner and good friend, Detective Tommy Bell, Charlie is surrounded by a strong team that recognizes his talents.
It was a pleasure to interview Charlie and he was very open about his experiences, good and bad. You will find him at most community events and he is tirelessly working to keep all of us safe as well as volunteering abroad to build a school in an earthquake-devastated area in Nepal in the next couple of months. Thank you very much Charlie for your service and dedication to the community of the 104th Precinct and for all your volunteer efforts. Keep up the great work!