Window decals to show that a driver has contributed to a police officers association are being outlawed in West Virginia under new rules adopted by the state Ethics Commission last week.

Charleston newspapers reported that the Ethics Commission, updating its regulations on the solicitation and receiving of gifts by public employees, has cracked down on what it saw as some of the worst fundraising abuses by police, sheriffs and state troopers associations.

In addition to banning police associations from giving window decals or bumper stickers to donors — commonly believed to buy leniency in traffic stops — the rules would bar officers from soliciting for contributions in any official capacity, either by phone or in person, according to the Charleston Daily Mail.

"I think it's just totally unethical for a law enforcement group to use the authority of that officer," said commissioner Jack Buckalew, a former state senator and retired State Police superintendent.

"They're using that influence, and it's just not right," Buckalew said.

"It's just inherently intimidating," commissioner Larry Rowe, a Charleston lawyer and former state senator, commenting on phone solicitations by police officers.

Coincidentally, the West Virginia Troopers Association announced Thursday it is phasing out its telephone solicitations.

The Trooper's Association kept only only 20% of the solicited money, with 80% going to the telemarketing company they hired.

The association says they hope to make up for lost telemarketing revenue with direct-mail advertising and increased ad sales in the West Virginia Trooper magazine, according to The Associated Press.

The rules will go to the Legislature in the 2008 regular session for consideration.