A 30-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service has taken over as chief of police in Barrie — making history as the first woman to take on the role in the city.

Kimberley Greenwood officially took on the top job Tuesday, taking over as the city's police force says farewell to its retiring leader Mark Neelin.

"I am a chief that will be engaging with the community, I'll be listening. I'll be working with our officers, with our civilian members to ensure that they receive an excellent police service," she told CBC News on Tuesday.

Greenwood has previously served as the Toronto Police Service's staff superintendent in charge of Central Field Command, responsible for a $249 million budget and more than 2,000 police officers. She has also served as part of the community response unit, and walked the beat in Toronto.

Chief William Blair of the Toronto Police Service said her move to Barrie was a "loss for the city of Toronto. But it's a loss we're proud to suffer because we know she's going to continue to add to policing in the province of Ontario."

Policing also runs in her family — her father was a Toronto police officer for 33 years.

"I was a staffing inspector when I left, so she passed me a long time ago," Ron Meadows told CBC News.

Greenwood's husband is also a retired officer, and she says her 19-year-old daughter may also carry on their family legacy.

"She may be taking over that tradition also," Greenwood says.