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'Jaws’ actor who played a prankster in the film to be police chief on Martha’s Vineyard

Jonathan Searle once scared swimmers with a prank as a child extra in "Jaws." Now he's enforcing the law on the island where the iconic 1975 movie was filmed.

If they ever do a "Jaws" remake, Jonathan Searle can play the police chief this time.

Searle, who once played a kid prankster who put swimmers in a panic with a fake shark fin in the original "Jaws," is now a police chief on the island off Massachusetts where the iconic 1975 movie was shot.

Searle was named police chief on May 16 in the town of Oaks Bluff on Martha's Vineyard, which was first reported by the Vineyard Gazette.

The new police chief is a native of Martha's Vineyard who had served in the Edgartown police department on the island since 1986. He followed in the footsteps of his father, who served as chief in Edgartown for 14 years, according to the Vineyard Gazette.

JAWS, 1975
The fake shark fin worn by Jonathan Searle in "Jaws" had swimmers running for the beach in a panic.Courtesy Everett Collection

“I’m clearly elated and I’m humbled and honored to have been offered the position,” Searle told the Gazette. “It’s something I’ve been working toward my whole career.”

Searle and his brother, Stephen, played a pair of kids in "Jaws" who send everyone in the water into a frenzy by having Searle wear a fake shark fin on his back. They surface to men on boats pointing rifles at them, and Searle points to his brother and says, "He made me do it."

In a surprising twist, Searle had a man charged with disorderly conduct in 2008 for an alleged shark hoax of his own. The man said he went up and down the beach telling everyone there were two great white sharks swimming in the area, but Searle said in a police report he found “no credibility” in the man’s story, according to a report by the Vineyard Gazette.

The classic Steven Spielberg film about a murderous shark is set in the fictional town of Amity Island off the coast of New England but was filmed in various locations on Martha's Vineyard.

Searle told the Martha's Vineyard Times that he and his brother were each paid $150 for their roles and still sporadically get royalty checks, including $150 just last week.

“You could never have predicted where that movie would go,” Searle told the Martha's Vineyard Times.