MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee attended the Church of God in Christ’s Holy Convocation in Memphis Tuesday and weighed in on the city’s crime problem.

Blue lights flashed at multiple crime scenes Tuesday as Memphis Police reported at least five people were shot. Two of those victims died.

On Tuesday, Gov. Lee attended the Holy Convocation hosted by the Church of God In Christ in Memphis, where tens of thousands from across the world gathered and prayed for peace and change.

Lee said hope just isn’t enough when it comes to fighting crime, and crime needs to be tackled head-on.

“Violence in this city is a tremendous problem, and we have to attack it,” he said. “Hope is not a strategy. We have to actually execute a strategy.”

The latest crime stats from the Memphis Police Department show 336 homicides this year. At least 282 of those cases are classified as murders, compared to 206 murders and 251 homicides this same time in 2022.

Lee said the statistics are one of the reasons the state has in place a $150 million violent crime intervention grant fund to support law enforcement statewide.

“The last $50 million of that grant fund was focused primarily on Memphis those funds are now being distributed to the agencies here,” he said. “There is a joint effort among law enforcement to create a safer environment. It’s incredibly important. People need to feel safe in their communities.”

Gov. Lee said he is committed to addressing public safety and plans to push for new proposals in the upcoming legislative session.