PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Members of Portsmouth’s police commission will meet next week to discuss “the necessity” of extending interim Police Chief David Mara’s contract, which expires in July.

The Portsmouth Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1T2z4YX ) Commissioner Joe Plaia said the need to extend Mara’s contract is due to the prolonged amount of time it will take for the International Association of Police Chiefs to conduct its hiring search.

The commission voted to retain the IAPC in March. A representative from the search company is scheduled to visit Portsmouth for a two-day site visit in mid-May. The representative relayed to police officials that the search for a new chief will take four to six months from that date.

Mara replaced Stephen DuBois after the former chief resigned from the force on Jan. 1.

Information from: Portsmouth Herald, http://www.seacoastonline.com