There have been more than 20 gang killings in the Lower Mainland this year alone, and police forces are trying to curb the violence.

In Surrey, the battle is fought with the RCMP's Gang Enforcement Team, and this week, CTV News got an exclusive look at the team and what they do.

On the streets of Surrey, the team is the front line of defence against violent gangs.

"We always have to be on the edge. We never know if someone else is out there, if someone is following us or following who we are talking to," said Const. Gary Sidhu, a member of the team who grew up in Surrey.

"We want them to know that we're out here. We want them to know, 'Hey, if you're going to be out, we're going to be out.'"

Surrey has seen more than its share of gang violence, murders, brazen shootings and gun battles between vehicles. Mounties have responded to 38 reports of shots fired this year, a number that's actually dropped significantly since 2015, when there were 88.

This week, a 41-year-old – who police believe did not have gang ties - was found fatally wounded when shots rang out in a quiet residential neighbourhood.

On Thursday morning, the RCMP announced the arrest of a known offender with gang associations, alleging he'd fled from a police traffic stop. They say they found illicit drugs and other items consistent with trafficking, and a 24-year-old was charged as a result.

In addition to shootings, in the last two months Surrey RCMP have performed 1,148 person checks, laid 36 Criminal Code charges, and issued 89 violation tickets and four 90-day roadside suspensions.

Police conducted 21 drug investigations in those two months, and 17 vehicles were seized.

The gang team is always patrolling, and even a stop for a traffic violation can be an opportunity to gather intelligence.

During a ride-along, CTV watched as officers asked a driver, "Anything good on the streets right now?"

He responded, "Everything's good, bro."

After he left, the officer explained the driver has minor ties to the gang conflict.

The unit is also involved in curfew checks. An officer paid a visit to a man with gang ties under house arrest, asking if he had any concerns or questions. The man flipped off CTV's camera.

Team members also work with crime analysts to try to determine which areas they should focus resources on, and which areas have seen the most recent gang activity or drug trafficking.

Each shift begins with a briefing.

Sgt. Mike Sanchez heads up the team, and part of his job is to educate school counsellors and youth. He says the gang situation in the region is unlike anywhere else he's seen.

"Where our gang violence is in Surrey, it's happening in rich neighbourhoods… The average price of a house of where this violence is occurring is close to $1 million," he said.

Back on the streets, officers keep looking, connecting, working to stop gang violence before someone else is hurt.

With a report from CTV Vancouver's Michele Brunoro