When Antonia Maddona emigrated from Italy in 1905 to the United States, he purchased an “unseen” property in Douglas Township on the Berks/Montgomery County line.
Initially, the property was established as a farm with only five to six dairy cows and a field of crops. Maddona held his own with the help of his ten children—each of which were able to sell their crops of corn and small grains to the local residents from Stowe. All ten children, which included his son Coji, were involved in some aspect of the farm such as taking care of the animals which grew over the years to include more cows, turkeys, chickens, and pigs.
Today, only two of Coji Maddona’s children are still involved with the farm: Charles and Frank.
For Coji’s son Charles, it has been no easy task since he has also been a law enforcement officer since 1986. Charles always had an interest in law enforcement and after placing himself through school and working part time, law enforcement became a passion. He attended every school he possibly could and never looked back. By 1996, Charles Maddona became chief of Upper Pottsgrove Township.
With six patrolmen under his command, Maddona was responsible for the department’s scheduling and personnel, balancing a budget of approximately $494,000, and maintaining the department’s fleet of vehicles. Today, Maddona serves with the men and women of the Berks County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy sheriff.
The Community Connection had a chance to sit down with Maddona and learn more of his choice to expand onhis passions of farming and law enforcement. As different as they are, there are many similarities when it comes to management and projecting the needs of the animals and the officers but in a not so obvious way, farming balances out the often hectic life of a law enforcement officer.
“I grew up on a farm so there isn’t much I don’t like. The only hard part about having a farm with livestock is you have to plan around what they need, which makes vacations, etc. harder to plan. It’s a seven day a week job, so I give a lot of credit to the farmers that do it for a living.”
Law enforcement exposed Charles to many tragedies throughout his career. From domestic violence to patrol accidents, they involved all ages and those losses affected the families left behind. Dealing with those types of incidents was by no means easy but the farm was a great stress relief for him.
“I went from a high stress environment some days and then would be able to come home, change out of my uniform, grab the kids and go for a tractor ride in the field. It was just a nice thing to come home to. Easy to unwind.”
Maddona’s family understood his position and that he was always available to his patrolmen if they needed him. “My family understood that there are people out there less fortunate and in need of help.”
He was always on call, even during family celebrations and holidays.
“What I liked most about law enforcement is that I did come across people that were truly thankful for my assistance with their problem. I enjoyed putting time back into the community, taking part in school programs and community functions from Kid Card to fire department functions and animal control functions, just to name a few,” he said. “I had a lot of positive feedback from residents.”
He continued to state, “From the high stress I faced in law enforcement, it was incredible to come home to the wide open space of the farm, be able to breathe and not have the noise of the city. Being able to look out my window or sit on the porch, I could enjoy the wildlife (deer, foxes ducks, etc.). I enjoyed, and still do, the fact that we could grow and raise what we consumed as a family and knew exactly where it was coming from.”