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He played a small, iconic role in 'Jaws'. Now he'll lead police in town where movie was filmed

In the movie, Jonathan Searle played one of two boys who send beachgoers into a panic by swimming around with a fake shark's fin.
Credit: AP
Edgartown Police Sgt. Jonathan Searle delivers a message about the Good Samaritan Law during the filming of a public service announcement in March 2021, in Edgartown, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard. (Jeremy Driesen/Vineyard Gazette via AP)

OAK BLUFFS, Mass. — A man who as a child had a brief but key role in “Jaws” has been named police chief on the Massachusetts island on which the 1975 movie was partially filmed.

Jonathan Searle was offered the job of police chief in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard last week.

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“I’m clearly elated and and I’m humbled and honored to have been offered the position,” Searle, currently a sergeant with Edgartown police, told the Vineyard Gazette, which first reported the appointment.

The movie centers on the efforts of a police chief in a fictional resort town trying to rid the local waters of a killer shark. Scenes were filmed in various locations on Martha's Vineyard.

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In the movie, Searle played one of two boys who send beachgoers into a panic by swimming around with a fake shark's fin.

Searle, whose father was police chief in Edgartown, takes over in Oak Bluffs next month.

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According to the Vineyard Gazette, Searle has served in the Edgartown police department since 1986. 

In addition to serving as a town constable for many years, he more recently lead the town's Project Outreach initiative: a nationwide program that teams up police officers with recovery coaches during a 911 response for people with addictions so that they can offer counseling and treatment options instead of an intimidating emergency response with sirens and flashing lights, according to MV Times.

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