Nearly 50 years ago, Steven Spielberg travelled to Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts to film an upcoming movie about a great white shark. A local kid named Jonathan Searle scored a small role in the film as a young prankster, spooking locals by swimming through the water with a fake shark fin.
In 1986 — 11 years after the film's release — Searle ended joined the police force in Edgartown, which is part of the Vineyard. And as of Monday, May 16, 2022, he's been elected as the chief of police in the neighboring town of Oak Bluffs.
The local newspaper offered a highlight reel of Searle's career leading up to this new appointment — but curiously left out any details about his acting career:
An Island native, Mr. Searle has served in the Edgartown department since 1986, rising through the ranks. His community work is wide-ranging and includes serving as town meeting constable for many years. More recently he helped lead an initiative called Project Outreach, teaming up police officers with recovery coaches to help get Islanders struggling with addiction into treatment programs.
He is also the son of a police chief; his father George Searle served as chief in Edgartown from 1981-1995, and had been in the department since 1966.
According to Sky News, Searle also charged a man for disorderly conduct in 2008 after the man … tricked tourists into thinking they were about to be attacked by a great white shark.
Oak Bluffs Selects Jonathan Searle as New Police Chief [Aidan Pollard / Vineyard Gazette]
Jaws Child Actor Becoming Police Chief in Martha's Vineyard, Where Iconic Movie Was Filmed [Maria Pasquini / People]