STILLWATER — Payne County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry Kitchel of Cushing has been appointed as investigator for the department, Sheriff Noel Bagwell announced.

Kitchel, 60, who has nearly 23 years’ experience in law enforcement, on Monday replaced Billy Bartram, who had been the sheriff’s investigator since July, Bagwell said.

Bartram, a former homicide investigator for the Stillwater Police Department, will leave the Payne County Sheriff’s Office Friday. On Feb. 18, Bartram will join the state Medical Examiner’s Office as an investigator assigned to the Lawton area, Bagwell said.

Kitchel, whose career includes working as a police officer in Pawnee and Ponca City, served as investigator for the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office for five years prior to joining the Payne County Sheriff’s Office in May 1999, Bagwell said.

Kitchel has been a field deputy patrolling the east side of Payne County for the Sheriff’s Office, Bagwell said.

“I believe Larry’s years in law enforcement have been and will continue to be an asset in his new position,”” as investigator for the Payne County Sheriff’s Office, Bagwell said.”