(RNN) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered a lesson on the "Anglo-American heritage" during a speech Monday to the National Sheriff’s Association in Washington.

"I want to thank every sheriff in America,” Sessions said. “Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people's protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process," Sessions said at the meeting. "The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement."

Sessions continued to say the White House will continue to strengthen law enforcement.

Sessions also delivered condolences to the families of officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering killed in Westerville, OH last week.

The office of sheriff dates back to 9th century England which makes the position the oldest continuing, non-military, law enforcement entity in history, according to the National Sheriff’s Association.

The word is derivative of the words “shire” and “reeve,” English words to denote geographical area and a person appointed as its guardian.

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