Parents of children in Carroll and Trimble counties are being warned about a person who might be trying to approach children before or after the school day.

A parent called the Carroll County Sheriff's Office last week to tell officials about a male individual who approached her middle school-aged daughter after school while the child was walking to her mother's place of employment.

Carrollton Police Chief Michael Willhoite said the child did not know the man, and it was improper for this person to speak to and harass the child.

"We have been patrolling school zones during mornings and afternoons in an attempt to catch this individual," Willhoite said.

Trimble County Sheriff Tim Coons said police have been alerted to the situation and increased police presence in school zones as well.

Law enforcement encouraged students to always think of safety by walking in groups before and after school and not to accept a ride or get in a stranger's vehicle.

Willhoite also asked students to be aware of their surroundings and not allow a stranger to approach them. If a student begins to feel uncomfortable or a stranger begins to bother a child, students should make a scene or make others know something is wrong.

"Start yelling," Willhoite said. "Be loud. Draw attention to yourself."