CLAY COUNTY, Mo. – Marine veteran and retired police Sgt. Eben Hall is running for state representative in Missouri House District 38 in Clay County, vowing to support law enforcement and keep “politics out of schools.”
“After the last two years when we saw the attacks on law enforcement and the lack of leadership and support from our elected officials, that’s when I decided [to run for office],” Hall told The Heartlander. “We need to have good, quality candidates that can provide leadership and support to our law enforcement officers. They need that support.”
While in college at Oklahoma State University, Hall joined the Marine Corps and later participated in Operation Desert Storm. Following his military service, Hall served the Kansas City Police Department for 26 years, working his way up to the rank of sergeant.
During his time with KCPD, Hall developed the Heartland Tactical Officers Association’s Sniper Program and oversaw the training and development of hundreds of area SWAT snipers since 2000, his campaign said. The retired sergeant also earned his master’s degree in Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution at Baker University during his service with the police department.
“When these seats open up, we need to make sure candidates filling them have the leadership and experience to represent not only the people that elect you, but also the people that serve and protect,” he said.
The trend of attempting to defund police departments in the United States, especially in his own backyard, are antithetical to the idea of public safety and law and order, Hall said. Last year, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and a majority of the KC City Council voted to strip KCPD of over $40 million, which was later ruled illegal by a Jackson County judge.
“That’s a direct example of local government leadership affecting the health and safety of a city by defunding them,” Hall said of the move. “They can call it what they want, but when you affect the ability to hire and maintain a police force, that’s not something that can be fixed overnight. The damage is done.
KCPD is at the lowest level they’ve been in 40 or 50 years in regard to the growing discrepancy between the number of police officers and the city’s crime rate, Hall noted. Last year, former KCPD Chief of Police Rick Smith pleaded for increased funding to lessen crime, as staffing issues with the department worsened.
“First responders need to know that their legislators and their government have their backs,” Hall said.
Amid growing attempts to implement Critical Race Theory and other controversial topics in schools, one of Hall’s major priorities is to “educate, not indoctrinate,” and to rid all public schools of any political bias, gender discussion or race-based curriculum.
“We need to get ideologies out of schools,” he said. “If kids are in a math or science class, they need to be taught the fundamentals of that subject free of outside influence and ideologies. It dovetails right into workforce development. If we’re not preparing our kids to enter the real world, we’re going to be behind and they’re going to be behind. We’d be doing them a disservice.
“I want to make sure education is education, and not a proving ground for personal ideology – any ideology. I try not to be cliché, but let’s educate, not indoctrinate. It’s happening, and to say that it’s not happening, I also think is a disservice.”
Hall isn’t alone in his worry about Kansas City’s public education and divisive curricula, either. Just last month, a national panel of experts put together a public event in Kansas City to brief parents and concerned citizens not just about the depth of far-left indoctrination in schools, but also on what ordinary folks can do about it.
Another issue near the top of Hall’s priority list is improving workforce development and filling jobs, but also supporting the infrastructure needed to keep Kansas City a growing area.
“There’s a lot of business Ford is bringing in, with 1,100 new jobs to the Ford plant,” he said. “There are other growths that are going to bring thousands of jobs to this area, and we need to make sure we have the workforce to support those jobs.
“But then we need to make sure that we also have the housing for those workers. There’s a housing shortage right now and it’s critical. We need to be working here at the local level and down in Jefferson City to make sure we streamline the process as best as we can to bring new housing in at all levels so we can support those workers. This area is still growing, and will continue to grow, and we need to make sure we’re supporting that however we can.”
Hall says campaigning has been a learning experience, and that speaking with voters has surprisingly brought him closer to area residents, which he wasn’t sure could happen after serving it in uniform for 26 years.
“Campaigning makes you closer to the community. Listening to the concerns and the expectations of the voters has been an eye-opener and has helped me get ideas of what to look for in Jefferson City that will help the constituents here in District 38.
“We’ve had very positive support. As I go out and introduce myself and talk about my message and my experience, it resonates with people. They want somebody with a proven track record that’s accomplished something. Past performance is a predictor of future performance.”
Hall is running against Republican Chris Lonsdale in the Aug. 2 primary election.