We climbed into a police SUV with 29-year police veteran Kevin Johnson, one of the city's new point people on gang violence, out Thursday night to develop a presence with suspected troublemakers on their turf.
A double long alley off 61street is notorious for drug trafficking.
"There's an ongoing conflict between the young money and the trap city gang factions over here," Johnson said. "Some of these young men are known to carry weapons and on parole, so what you want to do is not just drive them, engage them, find out what's going on, make that stop."
The lieutenant is accompanied by a Sargent who helps with background on the players and how power works in the grand crossing district.
As the sun sets, the points of conflict naturally increase and for the lieutenant, who is trying to implement the Chicago gang violence reduction strategy, the point remains the same, to gather information through engagement.
The lieutenant knows these suspected gang members have a beef with the perpetrators of a drive-by shooting at a nearby school last week.
No arrests will come out of this engagement either.
The lieutenant tries to connect with the shopkeeper, but like the myriad places our ride could have taken us, this encounter shows there's much work to be done.
"I don't trust no police," the shopkeeper told Johnson.