The New Haven Police Department will promote seven members of the force to the rank of sergeant, according to a press statement released by City Hall Spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga. A promotion ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Friday at City Hall.

In mid-November, the Department promoted 18 sergeants to the rank of lieutenant.

The promotions come during a year in which the NHPD has been forced to deal with a decrease in the total number of officer applications. About 10 percent of officer positions remain open.

The low number of new officers is part of a national trend, but the New Haven force has been hit by the drop especially hard because Mayor John DeStefano Jr. has committed to expanding the department by 90 officers over the next two years.

Last week, new officers who recently graduated from the police academy completed field training and began working in the city.

-Aaron Bray