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Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva declared Monday that his department would clear out growing homeless encampments from Venice Beach by July 4 — to the delight of local residents and the horror of City Council member Mike Bonin.

Villanueva’s announcement was welcomed on social media by local residents, who have witnessed growing crime and chaos in the area — including an incident Monday when a woman with a knife was arrested as she attempted to disrupt an event by mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino, a Democrat who is currently president pro tempore of the City Council.

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) offices wrestle a knife away from a person experiencing homelessness as they were detained during an event with Los Angeles City Council Member and mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino announcing his “Plan For A Safer Los Angeles” at Venice Beach on June 7, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. – Mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino spoke about his “Plan For A Safer Los Angeles” to address the homelessness crisis in the city, as homeless encampments of unhoused people across the city remain a key issue for the city’s residents. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Santa Monica Daily Press reported Tuesday that Villanueva visited Venice and vowed to end the “horror show”:

In a break with jurisdictional tradition, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced his intention to clear the Venice Boardwalk of its unhoused population by July 4.

Villanueva said his department will work with the LAPD and use every pathway available to safely move individuals including Project Roomkey beds, City and County shelters, non-profit housing facilities and approved camping sites.

“We’re going to designate where people can pop up their tents, but it’s not going to be in the middle of a tourist destination destroying businesses,” said Villanueva. “This is not Venice. This is a horror show that’s been foisted on this community.”

Homeless outreach and enforcement in Venice is under the City of L.A.’s purview. However, neither CD-11 Councilman Mike Bonin nor Mayor Eric Garcetti have announced a plan to address the spiraling situation on the Boardwalk where tents now number over 200.

The state’s Project Roomkey has paid for hotel rooms for the homeless, but the homeless population appears to keep growing, and tent cities have spread throughout Los Angeles. Villanueva compared Venice Beach, which is part of the City of Los Angeles, to neighboring Santa Monica, which has a homeless problem but does not allow tent encampments.

Local City Council member Mike Bonin, who has proposed moving more homeless people to beach parking lots, in the county, exploded on Twitter with a long thread attacking Villanueva personally and accusing him of ulterior political motives.

Bonin faces a growing recall movement organized by residents angry with his plan to house more homeless at the beach.

Villanueva, a staunch opponent of efforts to “defund the police,” announced last week that violent crimes had risen dramatically in the county this year, including a 95% increase in homicides, as fewer police were on the beat.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Photo: file

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