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'Jaws' child actor to serve as police chief on Martha's Vineyard island

NBC News logo NBC News 5/22/2022 Kalhan Rosenblatt

First, he was a prankster in the film "Jaws." Now, he's busting them.

Jonathan Searle, who as a child appeared in the film "Jaws," has been selected as the next police chief of Oaks Bluff on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where the film was shot.

Searle's appointment to police chief was first reported by The Vineyard Gazette.

“I’m clearly elated and and I’m humbled and honored to have been offered the position," Searle, a sergeant for the Edgartown police prior to his selection as police chief, told the Gazette.

The results of the vote were announced on May 16.

Edgartown Police Department Sgt. Jonathan Searle, center, works a fireworks event in Oak Bluffs, Mass., in 2019. Searle, who acted in the film © Provided by NBC News Edgartown Police Department Sgt. Jonathan Searle, center, works a fireworks event in Oak Bluffs, Mass., in 2019. Searle, who acted in the film

Searle will succeed police chief Erik Blake, who will retire in June, the Gazette reported.

But long before he served in the police force, Searle had a small role in the 1975 Steven Spielberg blockbuster filmed on Martha's Vineyard.

Searle played a prankster who placed a cardboard fin in the water, scaring beachgoers.

In 2008, while serving on the force, Searle busted a man for doing exactly what his character did in the film. A man was charged with disorderly conduct for the prank, according to a report from the Gazette.

NBC News has reached out to the Oaks Bluff Police Department and the Edgartown Police Department, requesting comment from Searle.

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