Ted Spearman Justice Center
The City of Bainbridge Island invites the public to celebrate the opening of its new police and municipal court building’s doors for the first time on November 15, 2023 from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
Named after Theodore “Ted” Spearman, a former Kitsap County Superior Court Judge and long-time resident of Bainbridge Island, the “Ted Spearman Justice Center” will house the City’s police department, municipal court and emergency management services center.
The event will start at 12:00pm at 8804 Madison Ave N. and will be followed by educational tours of the new facility. Remarks will be given by Bainbridge Island City Councilmembers, city staff, members of the Spearman family, and Governor Jay Inslee, with a special tribute to Judge Spearman. Tours of the building will take place from 1:00 – 3:00 PM and will provide education on the different areas of the building by volunteer docents, who will be members of the Police Staff and Bainbridge Prepares Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Leaders.
The City encourages everyone to join the grand opening celebration and learn more about the services that will be housed in the Center, as well as celebrate the legacy of Judge Spearman. Due to limited parking, attendees are encouraged to carpool. Please also note that as the City continues to work with the Washington State Licensing and Inspection, the building’s elevator is pending certification for use. Light refreshments will be served.
Who is Ted Spearman?
The Bainbridge Island Police and Municipal Court Building is named the "Ted Spearman Justice Center" in honor of Theodore "Ted" Spearman, a former Kitsap County Superior Court Judge and resident of Bainbridge Island.
Born in Seattle in 1947, and a graduate of Stanford University who earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1971, Spearman moved to Bainbridge Island with his wife, Marie, in 1983. Governor Gary Locke appointed Ted Spearman to the Kitsap Superior Court in 2004, where he was the first Black judge to hold this position. Judge Spearman chaired the Washington State Bar Association's Civil Rights Committee and Disciplinary Board and was considered a national expert in federal civil rights cases.
Known for his compassion, fairness, and advocacy, Spearman was memorialized by the Kitsap Sun as a "'a gentleman' on and off the bench." Judge Spearman actively participated in the Bainbridge Island community, ranging from the Home Rule Committee to the live-aboard community to other civic roles, until he died in 2012. His profound legacy is remembered in the naming of this building.
Public Artwork at the Ted Spearman Justice Center: Peers
The City of Bainbridge Island is repurposing a former medical building into a courthouse and police station. The artwork, entitled Peers, created by artist Shawn Parks, uses the classic iconography of the column to create a sense of space, a sense of place. It lets the community know "something important happens here."
Peers is a play on words, exploring the homophone peer/pier. Pier is a synonym for column. Pier is a place of arrival, well known on an island. Peer denotes an equal. Peer means to look closely and carefully. And, of course, courthouses are noted for their reliance on a jury of one's peers. Peers reimagine strength, respect, and reverence. Strength to our differences. And reverence comes from institutional transparency--all will find justice here.
Inspiration for the artwork comes from watching an early morning sunrise over the water surrounding Bainbridge Island. The start of a new day represents optimism and hope.