REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WCMH) — Reynoldsburg’s city attorney said is no longer blocked on city-owned computers.

The update from City Attorney Chris Shook comes after multiple police officers reported that they were unable to access after a story about department leadership that was published last Wednesday

When NBC4 initially asked Mayor Joe Begeny about the issue, he said he was able to access from his computer and questioned whether the officers were attempting to access the site on city-owned computers. Begeny said he would look into the issue.

After NBC4 published a story about the website issues with Begeny’s response, Shook provided an email sent Wednesday from the city’s third-party IT firm, Kirch Group Technology, to the city’s Human Resources department.

“The City of Reynoldsburg Police Department utilizes a Barracuda Web Filter to secure users from various web-based cyber-threats and filter web traffic. This protection system allows the control of website access based on content categories,” the email said, in part. “In this instance, it was discovered that had been classified as ‘Entertainment’ by the filter. The ‘Entertainment’ category is blocked for all standard-level users. A request was submitted to reclassify as ‘News.’ The ‘News’ category is allowed for all user classifications.”

The email said, “Site misclassification can and does occur.” Shook denied that the website was blocked in response to NBC4’s reporting.

Brian Marvin, a retired Reynoldsburg detective who investigated cybercrimes, said police employees would regularly visit on work computers as recently as June, when Marvin stopped working for the city.

The Reynoldsburg city attorney was unable to identify how long was affected by the filter, but said, “We have no control over the algorithm that impacts their categorization of websites.”

After retiring as a detective, Marvin worked as a civilian employee for the Reynoldsburg Division of Police. He was an IT administrator as part of his civilian role and said department leadership has the ability and discretion to instruct the city’s IT provider to block a website “based on the needs or concerns of the department.” 

“Yes, it is true that only IT can change the settings of the filter, but they do so at the discretion of the administration of those with designated authority,” Marvin said, telling NBC4 that he would sometimes instruct Kirch Group Technology to block or unblock websites.

A Reynoldsburg police officer said Friday they were able to access at work.