The Surrey RCMP's Gang Enforcement Task Force may run a $1 million budget in its first year of operation - but officials say it's well worth the cost.

Sgt. Ben Rodrigue and the task force officers keep tabs on a list of about 80 gangsters, their associates, and criminals known to carry guns.

"There's members of the Red Scorpions, the United Nations, Independent Soldiers as well as the Hells Angels," Sgt. Ben Rodrigue said. "We know who they are. We know where they live."

The task force was conceived fall 2008, and launched in February 2009. Officers talk to informants and get intelligence from covert team members. They scour the streets of Surrey running license plates in search of gang vehicles.

Some of the suspects they find may only get a ticket - but that's the strategy.

"We have to make it as difficult as possible for these types of persons to operate within our communities, and this is just another way to make that happen," RCMP Supt. Wayne Rideout said.

Since they began, the team has arrested and charged dozens of suspects.

"We've written many tickets, seized many vehicles. We've made numerous arrests for outstanding warrants. We've seized a number of firearms," Rideout said.

But just as important as their accomplishments is their message.

"If you want to be a gang banger, a gang member, don't be in Surrey," Rodrigue said.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Michele Brunoro