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‘Jaws’ child actor named chief of police on Marthas Vineyard, where movie was filmed 50 years ago

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By Will Katcher
masslive.com

EDGARTOWN, Mass. As a boy, Jonathan Searle appeared in an iconic scene from a timeless movie swimming with a false dorsal fin to scare beachgoers in the fictional town of Amity Island in Jaws.

sergeant.  Jonathan Searle was recently named the next police chief in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, a town in Martha's Vineyard where

sergeant. Jonathan Searle was recently named the next police chief in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, a town in Martha’s Vineyard where “Jaws” was filmed. Searle appeared in the film as a child actor. (Vineyard Gazette, Facebook)

Nearly 50 years later, Searle will become chief of police on Marthas Vineyard, the same island where Steven Spielberg filmed his classic 1975 seafaring horror film.

The Oak Bluffs Town of Selection Board voted this week to nominate Searle, an Edgartown police sergeant, as their next police chief, according to the Vineyard Gazette. When he takes over from the retired police chief in late June, Searle will step into the real-life role of fictional Martin Brody, Amity’s top cop in the film.

I find it all quite funny myself! Searle, 56, told the New York Post.

With the possibility of a killer shark roaming the waters off Amity Island, residents and city leaders were on high alert over the July 4 weekend.

In his only scene in Jaws, Searle and his brother played a pair of fictional brothers who swam in the shallow waters of an Amity beach with a false dorsal fin protruding from the ocean above them. As they approached the shore, the panicked swimmers rushed out of the waves. The boys emerged under the waves to find Amity Police Force training weapons on them, only to realize the incident had been a prank.

Searle grew up on Marthas Vineyard, the son of a former Edgartown police chief, and has served in the department since 1986, the Gazette said.

I am clearly thrilled and humbled and honored to have been offered the job, Searle told the newspaper. It’s something I’ve worked on for my entire career.

2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit masslive.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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