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      D.C. area fire, police chiefs have higher salaries than Md., Va. governors

      D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier is paid more than all other area police and fire chiefs--and governors.

      WASHINGTON (AP) - The salaries of many of the police and fire chiefs in the Washington region outpace the earnings of their states' governors.

      D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier is the region's highest-paid top cop with a $253,000 annual salary. Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger's $216,600 salary comes in second.

      Montgomery County Fire Chief Richard Bowers is the region's highest-paid firefighter, with $190,000. He makes just $3,000 more than D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe and $15,000 more than Fairfax County's Fire Chief Ronald Mastin.

      By comparison, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley makes $150,000 - less than all but one top public safety official in the area. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell earns $175,000 annually.

      While some criticize such high salaries, some officials say they are key to attracting top candidates for tough posts.