Former ‘Jaws’ scene-stealer named police chief in Oak Bluffs

“I’m clearly elated and I’m humbled and honored to have been offered the position.”

The new police chief of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard has an earlier claim to fame: screen time in the 1975 movie “Jaws.”

Edgartown Sgt. Jonathan Searle recently won the top cop job in the community of 5,000 full-time residents, according to The Vineyard Gazette.

Searle beat out two other contenders for the position, according to the paper.

As a child, Searle and his brother Steven appeared as “the two Amity pranksters with the fake cardboard fin that initially caused the mass panic on the beach ahead of the estuary attack,” according to The Daily Jaws.

Coincidentally, the movie focuses on a police chief and marine biologist in the fictional town of Amity trying to save residents from a killer great white.


Searles has deep roots on the island, according to the Gazette. Not only did he grow up there, but his father George Searle served as police chief in Edgartown from 1981-1995.

“I’m clearly elated and I’m humbled and honored to have been offered the position,” he told the paper.

The chief told The New York Post that despite his connection to the movie, he plans to focus on land crime.

However, in a case of life imitating art, Searle investigated a man who sparked a panic in 2008 after telling beachgoers he saw two great whites swimming off the coast of the island, according to the paper.

Searles discovered there were no sharks and charged the man with disorderly conduct, according to the Post.


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