COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A woman will be in charge of the Columbus Department of Public Safety for the first time in the city’s history, Mayor Andrew Ginther announced in a news release.

The city appointed Kate McSweeney-Pishotti as its newest public safety director Monday. McSweeney-Pishotti previously served as Ginther’s deputy chief of staff — a role in which she worked to establish both the city’s Civilian Police Review Board and its Department of the Inspector General, according to the release.

McSweeney-Pishotti will take over for outgoing Columbus Director of Public Safety Rob Clark, who resigned at the start of the month after less than two years on the job.

Clark is headed to Philadelphia, where he will serve as vice president of public safety at the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

Part of her new role will include close work with the city’s newly-created Office of Violence Prevention — which intends to deter violent crime through “non-law enforcement-based strategies.”

McSweeney-Pishotti comes from a law enforcement family, she said. Both her father and brother were with the Columbus Division of Police, and her mother worked in a civilian role with the division.

“I’m really excited, I feel like I’ve come home. This used to be the old police headquarters, and I remember running around the basement when I was a little girl. Both my parents worked in the building and they were usually exchanging me during shift change,” she said.

Clark worked directly in law enforcement. Ned Pettus, who served as director before Clark, worked for the Columbus Division of Fire.

Although she did not work directly in those fields, she said her time with the city, as a bailiff, and as a probation officer made her the right choice for public safety director.

“When you think about public safety, people do think about the first responders and police and fire, but there are thousands of people behind the scenes making public safety happen,” McSweeney-Pishotti said. “I just happen to come from a background that includes the court system, the legislative branch, and now the administrative branch. I think that will only complement Chief Happ and Chief Bryant in their missions in their divisions.”

NBC4 asked Mayor Ginther how many other applicants were considered for the position, and he said she was the only candidate the city considered.

“I learned a long time ago, when you find the right leader, you ask them to lead and step up in this new role. I knew as soon as I heard of Director Clark’s departure that Kate was the right leader at this time, to take our department forward,” he said.