A small crowd of about 40 people gathered this afternoon in Utica's Common Council chambers for a promotion ceremony held by the Utica Police Department.

Three officers, Gregory Facciolo, Stanley Fernalld and Steven Fitzgerald, were promoted to the rank of sergeant in recognition of their hard work and ability.

Police Chief Mark Williams says the newly minted sergeants are part of the city's next generation of law enforcement.

"I have had the great opportunity to work with all three of these officers being promoted today," Williams said. "I supervised them at one time, and I know what their traits are, their strengths, and I can tell you that these were three easy choices to make."

Williams says the position of a law enforcement officer has become more difficult than ever, but with the promotion of the three men, more credibility can be brought back to the department.

Together, the three sergeants carry 32 years of experience with the UPD.