In 1975, Jonathan Searle took a role as a child actor in Steven Spielberg’s classic film “Jaws.” Now, 47 years later, the former actor is set to become the police chief in the same Massachusetts town where the movie was filmed.
The Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, select board named Searle as their new police chief in a 3-1 vote Monday afternoon, and the former child actor said he plans to accept the position after current Chief Erik Blake retires at the end of June, the Vineyard Gazette reported.
“I’m finding the whole thing quite funny myself!” Searle told the New York Post in a piece published Thursday.
Oak Bluffs is part of Martha’s Vineyard, the popular getaway island just south of Cape Cod. Oak Bluffs took on the fictional name Amity in the blockbuster hit “Jaws.”
Searle and his brother, Steven, played two boys in the film who pranked beach-goers during one scene by swimming underneath a makeshift shark fin, the Post noted.
Searle chose not to go into the movie business after his role in one of the most iconic films of all time. Instead, he followed in his father George Searle’s footsteps by becoming a police officer.
While the former actor has stayed off the big screen, he will now return to the place that landed him there nearly 50 years ago.
“Ironically, ‘Jaws’ revolved around the exploits of a police chief named Martin Brody,” the Post wrote. Searle told the outlet, however, that he hopes his new position in Oak Bluffs won’t require him to chase a massive great white off the Massachusetts coast.
The 56-year-old Martha’s Vineyard native has worked for the Edgartown, Massachusetts, Police Department since 1986 and is currently a sergeant on the force. He has also led a recovery program for people with addiction called Project Outreach.
“I know he’s going to serve the community of Oak Bluffs as well as he’s served the community of Edgartown,” Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee told the Vineyard Gazette.
Along with finding his position for the Oak Bluffs police department ironic, Searle is also excited to jump into his new role. “I’m clearly elated … and I’m humbled and honored to have been offered the position,” he said.