SAN ANTONIO -

Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz is publicly responding to a San Antonio Current article claiming jails suicides have spiked.

Ortiz said in reality, suicide rates are down from last year.

"There was an article in the (San Antonio) Current that misled the general public to indicate that we were not doing anything," Ortiz said. "We thought it was imperative that we come and let the people know who have inmates and family (in the jail that) we're doing everything possible to prevent suicide."

According to official jail reports, in 2009, jail suicides did spike, with five reported. In 2010, that number decreased to three. In 2011, three were also reported. There's been two reported so far this year.

Oritz said he believes the numbers coincide with the number of inmates in the jail at the time. As the jail's population declined over the last three years, so did the number of suicides.

Ortiz said he wants the community to be aware of steps they're taking to end suicides among inmates altogether.

"I think we've done a lot of strides in (the) training (that) all my officers go through," he said.

Susan Pamerleau, who is running against Ortiz in the upcoming election, said, "Regardless of the reason people come to jail, it's important that detention officers provide safety for those that are there."

Michael Barajas, the author of the Current article, said when he refers to a spike, he means throughout the last five years as a whole.

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