Municipal police departments across Knox County once again have access to reports filed by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office after the sheriff initially blocked the release of the information.

Sheriff Donna Dennison said Thursday morning that she was concerned about confidential crime reports, particularly on matters such as child abuse investigations, being available to departments not involved in the cases.

She said a glitch in the joint communications system ended up blocking access to all county cases by other departments such as Rockland, Thomaston, Rockport and Camden.

Knox County Administrator Andrew Hart said what he found out was that the information technology director asked the sheriff earlier this week if it was a problem that any officer running against her for sheriff could have access to criminal complaints being handled by her office. Hart said the sheriff decided that would be a problem and instructed the information technology employee to block access to the office’s reports.

Dennison is running for re-election for sheriff. One opponent who has announced his candidacy is Thomaston Police Officer Timothy Hoppe. Hoppe is expected to challenge Dennison in the June 8 Democratic primary.

Michael Phillips of Warren, who is a Republican, has also announced that he will run. Former Marine Patrol official Jeff Gallagher is expected to make a formal announcement next week that he will run as an unenrolled, or independent, candidate.

The information block became apparent, Hart said, when dispatchers were unable to access county complaints to attach additional information. The county administrator said that chiefs of local departments then became concerned about the block when their officers were unable to access county information.

The joint communications system — the Spillman Law Enforcement Record Management System — was created in the 1990s by the departments in an effort to better handle cases that may extend over their jurisdictions.

Rockland Police Chief Bruce Boucher and Rockport Police Chief Mark Kelley went to the county Thursday to inquire about the block.

Boucher said the block was removed that morning as the parties met. He said the various departments are working to update the way the system is managed. The computer server is located at the sheriff’s office building but the system is managed by an information technology person who is under the direction of the county administration and not the sheriff’s office.

Hart said the sheriff acted too quickly in her decision to block such information.

Boucher said one issue the departments are trying to iron out is who has the authority to make decisions such as the one made this week by the sheriff.