‘Jaws’ child star sworn in as police chief on Martha’s Vineyard

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Former child star in the 1975 classic “Jaws” and real-life police officer Jonathan Searle was sworn in as the new Oak Bluffs police chief on Martha’s Vineyard on July 15. 

Searle, along with his brother, had a cameo in the Steven Spielberg classic, playing a prankster who planted a fake fin in the water, causing chaos on the beach. 

Following his short acting stint, Searle became a long-serving officer with the Edgartown Police Department. Searle started at the department in 1986 and held the rank of sergeant before being tapped by the Oak Bluffs Police Department in May.

“We look forward to working with him to protect the residents of and visitors to the island,” the Massachusetts State Police wrote in a statement. 

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Newly-sworn-in Oak Bluffs police chief Jonathan Searle stands with Massachusetts state police officers.

Newly-sworn-in Oak Bluffs police chief Jonathan Searle stands with Massachusetts state police officers. (Massachusetts State Police Facebook)

Searle wore his father’s stars on his uniform shirt during his swearing-in ceremony; his father also served as a police chief in Edgartown. 

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“Jaws” followed a local police officer’s efforts to rid the fictitious town of Amity of a killer shark. The Spielberg film included filming locations on Martha’s Vineyard, giving several locals cameos in the movie. 

Oak Bluffs Police Chief Jonathan Searle poses during his swearing-in ceremony on Martha's Vineyard.

Oak Bluffs Police Chief Jonathan Searle poses during his swearing-in ceremony on Martha’s Vineyard. (Massachusetts State Police Facebook)

Searle’s role in the movie has become a popular anecdote for Martha’s Vineyard locals, with Edgartown Police even tweeting about it in 2019. 

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Edgartown Police Sgt. Jonathan Searle delivers a message about the Good Samaritan Law during the filming of a public service announcement in March 2021.

Edgartown Police Sgt. Jonathan Searle delivers a message about the Good Samaritan Law during the filming of a public service announcement in March 2021. (AP)

 “Also, anytime we can show off the fact that Sgt. Searle was in ‘Jaws’ is a good day!!,” the department wrote on social media. 

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