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Child Actor From ‘Jaws’ Becomes Police Chief Of Martha’s Vineyard, Where Movie Was Filmed

Life has an odd way of figuring things out. That is something Jonathan Searle can attest to.

You may not recognize Searle as an adult, but his visage as a child would. Searle, a resident of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, starred in the classic film Jaws. It was shot in the region during the summer of 1975. On a busy beach day, Searle portrayed one of two tiny boys who terrify beachgoers by sliding a cardboard fin through the sea.

In real life, he kept his naughty nature to himself and stayed on the straight and narrow. It paid off, as Searle was recently appointed as Oak Bluffs’ police chief.

After several years as an Edgartown police sergeant, Jonathan Searle will be the new police chief in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts. A local select board decided 3-1 to choose him above the other three candidates in the running.

Searle was raised on Martha’s Vineyard. He’s worked for the Edgartown Police Department since 1986. He will succeed the soon-to-retire police chief of the neighboring Oak Bluffs Police Department.

He stated that he is clearly thrilled, as well as humbled and honored, to have been offered the position. He has been working towards it his entire career.

Locals are quick to bring up Searle’s history as an actor. In Jaws (1975), he played one of two lads who terrorize beachgoers with a fake shark fin. The Edgartown Police Department provided the video of Searles as recently as 2019.

They said that for the 44th anniversary of Jaws, they felt they should repost their ‘Then and Now’ video. Also, any day they can brag about Sgt. Searle’s appearance in Jaws is a good day.

There’s also a personal tie to Searle’s new position as police chief. From 1981 until 1995, his dad, George Searle, was the police chief of Edgartown.

Undoubtedly, Searle recognizes the irony of where he began and where he has ended up. He is finding the entire thing quite amusing.

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