NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton met with urban ministers Tuesday following New York City’s decision to hire nearly 1,300 new police officers as part of its $78.5 billion budget agreement.

On the heels of a major victory in the hiring of the 1,297 new officers, Bratton spoke to about 200 clergy members at the first ever Urban Ministers’ Symposium at One Police Plaza about his vision for improving police-community relations.

“We have a big task ahead us and a long road before us, but we can travel that road more quickly and more successfully if we do it together,” Bratton told the symposium.

The commissioner was still basking in the glow of his success in changing Mayor de Blasio’s mind about the need for more cops to fight terror and to go into the communities to fight crime, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

The deal was made public and sealed with a handshake and hug between de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, both Democrats, at City Hall late Monday.

“We’ll be adding 1,297 uniformed officers to the ranks of the NYPD that will take our force from about 34,500 officers today to nearly 35,800 by July 1, 2016,” de Blasio said late Monday.

But in a practical sense, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports it’ll be more like 1,700.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio was an unannounced guest at the ministers’ event Monday, after his budget announcement late Monday.

“For all this to work, we’re going to need your active participation,” de Blasio said.

With gun crimes on the rise in many minority neighborhoods, some of the extra police manpower will be part of a new policing program. Instead of responding to 911 calls, officers will be ordered to develop relationships with businesses, houses of worship, and people who live and work in the precincts they control.

Bratton explained why the new program is so important to the NYPD.

“In our most vulnerable communities, the vulnerable are often victimized by their own – by their neighbors,” Bratton said. “In New York City, blacks and Hispanics commit 95 percent of our shootings. Blacks and Hispanics represent 96 percent of the shooting victims.”

The mayor’s surprise attempt at rounding up support, and to get the ministers to help him recruit blacks and Hispanics to join the NYPD, was considered doubly important. Several segments of the community are furious at the decision to increase the size of the NYPD.

“This deal to increase the NYPD headcount seems like politics at its worst, and is not in the best interest of the safety or long-term needs of our communities,” Monifa Bandele of Communities United for Police Reform said in a statement. “It’s disappointing and perplexing that the city budget will increase the NYPD headcount when systemic problems with police accountability and culture that allow New Yorkers to be abused and killed have yet to be fixed.”

Anti-police demonstrators rallied outside City Hall Tuesday night to protest the plan to hire the new officers. The protesters said crime is already low enough, and there is no reason to put more officers on the streets.

“That money — $170 million —could have been used for better to open centers in these communities; to be able to get more jobs for people in these communities,” one man said.

A year ago, de Blasio flatly denied Mark-Viverito’s call to hire 1,000 new officers, pointing to record low crime rates and suggesting that the resources would be better used elsewhere to fulfill the mayor’s vision of a liberal, activist government that would better the lives of the less fortunate.

For much of the past year, City Hall stuck to that script.

In his budget address last year, de Blasio said, “We think that with the resources we have, we can keep crime low.” And when Bratton asked again, the mayor said it was merely a “wish list.”

“He was expressing an aspiration,” de Blasio told Kramer on Sept. 9 of last year. “That’s a very different thing from what we will decide.”

Meanwhile, the 2015 budget had no funds for police hires.

“There’s always work to be done, but a lot of the approach we’re taking is working with the resources we have,” the mayor told Kramer in February.

But Bratton began intermittently advocating for the new hires, Mark-Viverito continued to push the plan as a way to improve outreach in neighborhoods often suspicious of police and pockets of the city suffered a surge in shooting and homicides in recent weeks.

Though overall crime is down 6.7 percent from this time a year ago, shootings and murders are up. Murders have risen from 138 to 154, 11 percent, through Sunday, while shootings have gone up from 488 to 515.

De Blasio said the surprise jump in hiring was not due to rising crime, rather to the overtime savings, though a hard cap on overtime was not yet set. The mayor particularly pegged it to Bratton’s ongoing efforts to revamp police department strategies; the commissioner is expected to announce several new initiatives later this week.

“There were some meetings with the commissioner in the last few weeks where we went from a broader discussion of his vision to a much more detailed one that became very, very compelling to me,” de Blasio told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb.

But Kramer reported that is not the only reason why de Blasio changed his mind about hiring more officers. Some have said also awash in the mayor’s brain were the killing of officers, the officers who turned their back on him during the funerals of slain officers, the perception that neighborhoods were becoming unsafe, and fears that tourists would be driven away.

And as several police experts pointed out, if the mayor did not hire more officers and crime went up, the fickle finger of blame would be pointed directly at him.

Bratton was gracious in victory.

“These were very intense, collaborative discussions, a sense of… we weren’t slugging it out – which we don’t,” Bratton said. “Again, I’m just very grateful.”

In addition to the community policing plan, Bratton said there will now be a dedicated unit of cops in front of synagogues and schools. He says the new cops will help staff counterterrorism.

The new officers will cost the city $170 million. The costs will be offset by $70 million in savings, largely by creating a cap on department overtime. About 300 of the new officers will be assigned to counterterrorism.

Details of just how the extra officers are going to be used will be revealed on Wednesday, when Bratton is also going to reveal his entire plan for reengineering the NYPD.

The entire Fiscal Year 2016 budget will go to a vote before the full council later this week. The vote is expected to largely be a formality.

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