COLUMBIA, Mo. -

When the tardy bell rings, most students are in class ready to begin their school day. But there are cases when some students are not. 

The Mayor's Task Force on Community Violence is now exploring how truancy numbers could be a cause of violence in the city.

"I think there's some relationship between completing school and being where you're supposed to be with staying out of trouble when you get older," said Ward 2 Councilman and Task Force facilitator Michael Trapp.

On Wednesday night, members highlighted some of the main questions they have for Columbia Public Schools about truancy.

The group wants percentages of dropouts or kids who were dropped from school because of a lack of attendance. They also want to know what services are in place for students who struggle with truancy.

"A lot of the early intervention kind of stuff is outside of the domains of the city itself, you know, a lot of this falls upon the schools, and looking at how we can work together seems important," Trapp said.

He said working with the schools is an easy step toward lessening crime in the city because there are already laws in place.

"I think truancy is an area where the city could really support the schools and its laws that already exist," Trapp said. "We already have laws that kids are supposed to be in schools."

The task force will meet again next month on Dec. 4 and 11.