A police chief’s hiring typically isn’t that big of a deal outside of the community he’s been tasked to protect and serve. But when that chief had a hand in making the town a part of movie history when he was a child, it can be.
Jonathan Searle has been selected as the new police chief of the community of Oak Bluffs, The Vineyard Gazette reported. Oak Bluffs was the beach area that served as the location of the fictional Amity Island, in “Jaws.”
Searle has a connection to the film and his new job is partially coming full circle.
Searle was a child actor in the 1975 film, who appeared in a pivotal part of the movie.
He was one of two kids who were swimming in the water with a cardboard fin strapped to a float, terrifying beachgoers of a potential shark attack. The other kid was played by Searle’s real-life brother Steven, The New York Post reported. Oak Bluffs beach stood in for Amity’s beach.
Searle grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and only appeared in “Jaws.”
Instead of pursuing a career as an actor, he followed in the footsteps of his father, the former police chief of neighboring Edgartown, Massachusetts, from 1981 through 1995, the Vineyard Gazette reported. Searle was a sergeant on the Edgartown force, The MV Times reported.
But his law enforcement life crossed paths with his past as a child actor when there were shark sightings in Martha’s Vineyard in 2008 and a man panicked beachgoers after he reported “two huge great white sharks” in the water. Searle investigated and found that the man’s claims were false and later charged him with disorderly conduct, the Gazette reported.
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