Alexandria Public Safety Director Charles T. Strobel is a native of the city who joined the police force as soon as he turned 21.

While he rose through the ranks in the police department, he earned degrees in justice administration from American University and from the FBI National Academy.

He was named police chief in 1977, and in 1983 City Manager Douglas Harman chose him for the new post of director of public safety. He and Harman have jointly pursued the consolidation of the city's police, fire and code-enforcement agencies as a cost-saving move.

Strobel, 47, is regarded as a loyal Harman supporter. He has been praised as a good organizer but criticized for being too isolated from the rank and file, and at times for being dictatorial.

Former police investigator Charles Cox and two other police officers have alleged that Strobel prematurely halted the police drug investigation, a charge Strobel has denied, saying that, at worst, he is guilty of bad judgment.

Alexandria Sheriff Michael E. Norris, 36, once had his own radio show broadcasting stories about crime. But talking about crime was not enough.

After a stint as a clerk with the FBI, Norris joined the Alexandria Police Department in 1970. In 1977, Norris, a Republican and a Portsmouth, Va., native, was elected sheriff. In 1981, he was reelected after running unopposed.

Norris, who has a degree in justice administration from American University, has been highly praised for his work as sheriff. Some of his critics allege that his sexual preferences have caused a morale problem in the sheriff's office.

Norris, who is divorced, says he has many homosexual friends and sometimes socializes in gay bars. He says his sexual preferences are "a nonissue."

Norris allegedly was a focus of the drug investigation that a police investigator says was halted by his superiors.

Charles Cox, 38, joined the Alexandria Police Department in 1968 and left in August. He has served in patrol and, more recently, in the vice investigation unit, specializing in fencing operations, prostitution and gambling.

Cox, a native Georgian who grew up in the Midwest, now works as a car salesman in Springfield.

When he left the Alexandria force, he was under internal review because he was seen bowling while on sick leave recovering from a stress fracture.

Cox, who was one of the investigators looking into drug use at Marco's Cafe, has alleged that Strobel stopped the investigation prematurely when there were leads about suspected drug use by Sheriff Michael E. Norris and others.

Since he came to Alexandria in 1976, Nebraskan Douglas Harman, 44, has built a reputation as a genial, bright and efficient city manager.

Harman, who graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University after majoring in political science, came to Alexandria from Fairfax County. He had worked there almost three years, first as director of research and statistics, and then as deputy county executive.

Harman has been drawn into the present controversy because, as Strobel's boss, he should know what is going on in the police department, said Mayor Charles E. Beatley.

Harman has a doctorate from American University in urban administration and has published a book of his cartoons entitled, "On the Joys of Being Manager."

Alexandria City Council member Donald C. Casey, a patent attorney who has been on the council since 1976, is probably the most controversial member of the council, partly because of the often personal attacks he makes against others.

Casey has been the point man in the council for the allegations that the investigation into drug use at Marco's Cafe was improperly conducted. He has pushed hard for an independent investigation of the issue.

Harman has alleged that Casey's actions are the latest in a lengthy campaign to discredit city officials.

Sheriff Norris, a Republican, has said that Casey, a Democrat, is pursuing allegations of his involvement in drugs as a partisan move in an election year.

Casey, who is 46, received a degree in chemical engineering at the University of Nebraska and earned a law degree from George Washington University.

Alicia Mundy, 31, is the managing editor of the weekly Alexandria Port Packet newspaper and the reporter who disclosed the allegations about the drug investigation.

She has a degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and studied international relations in London and Vienna.

She hosts a weekly talk show, "Mundy on Tuesday," on Alexandria's cable television. Mundy joined the Packet in March 1984. It is her first full-time reporting job.

Mundy, who has lived in Alexandria eight years, said she began reporting on the drug investigation after hearing rumors about it from a Northern Virginia lawyer and a source in Richmond.

Reaction to her stories has not always been mild. "Between the bomb threats, the angry calls and the rumors about me and everyone in the city and their pet monkeys, how do I feel?" she said. "I feel like we did the right thing."

Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney John E. Kloch is a lanky Nebraskan who chooses his words very carefully.

Kloch (pronounced clock) was elected in 1979 with a mandate to restore the integrity of the office after William L. Cowhig was forced to resign following revelations that he had solicited sexual favors from a defendant's wife.

Kloch, 44, was asked in October by Cox to review the handling of the police drug investigation. Kloch concluded there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of Norris.

On Jan. 4, Harman asked Kloch to review the drug case. After initially agreeing, on Jan. 7 he said he could not properly conduct the inquiry and turned it over to a special grand jury.

Kloch graduated from the University of Maryland in 1967 and has a law degree from American University.

Harman has alleged thAT Casy's actions are the latest in a lengthy campaign to discredit city officials.

Sheriff Norris, a Republican, has said that Casey, a Democrat, is pursuing allegations of his involvement in drugs as a partisan move in a election year.

Casey, who is 46, received a degree in chemical engineering at the University of Nebraska and earned a law degree from George Washington University.

Alice Mundy, 31, is the managing editor of the weekly Alexandria Port Packet newspaper and the reporter who disclosed the sllegations about the drug investigation.

She has a degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and studied international relations in London and Vienna.