The primary objective of this study is to determine whether practicing personnelists and research scholars agree on what constitutes an effective performance appraisal system in public safety organization. If Personnel managers at public safety organization possess knowledge of the characteristics of effective performance appraisal system in public safety organizations, they are more likely to design and/or advocate performance appraisal system in public safety organizations that include these important attributes. In addition, the research is an opportunity for the academic community to learn from the experience of practitioners. Concepts and techniques that are valued by academics may not be functional or effective for those involved in the development and administration of performance appraisal system in public safety organizations. Thus, areas of disagreement can serve to identify subjects for further research and improve both theory and practice. Research of this genre is also necessary because much performance appraisal research is laboratory based with consequent questionable external validity. This research and other recent works attempt to delineate the contextual factors that affect the operation of performance appraisal system in public safety organizations. Given the multitude of variables that can influence the development and administration of a performance appraisal system in public safety organization, personnel manager knowledge alone cannot be expected to have a significant impact on a given systems' effectiveness. Knowledge of the elements of an effective system is a necessary, albeit not a sufficient, condition to ensure performance appraisal system in public safety organization effectiveness. How can Personnel managers at public safety organizations develop their knowledge of effective appraisal system practices? Formal education is one avenue. Personnel managers at public safety organization with advanced degrees specializing in personnel areas are more likely to be cognizant of the requirements for effective performance appraisal system in public safety organizations. Knowledge about performance appraisal can be obtained through specialized courses and training seminars, membership in professional associations, and self-study of the performance appraisal literature. Finally, practical knowledge gained from direct experience with performance appraisal is likely to be extremely important, if not the most important, influence. There are no published works that compare the opinions of personnelists with views of research scholars on the attributes of an effective performance appraisal system in public safety organization. Most of the published works have been descriptive or case study oriented and have not addressed the full-range of attributes related to appraisal system success.