Even by the standards of hyperactive, image-conscious Prince George's County politics, Alex Williams seems to be everywhere these days.

One day, the 39-year-old state's attorney is releasing a long-awaited police brutality policy to investigate all serious reports and present some cases to the grand jury for review.

A few days later, he's hosting a reception for Gov. William Donald Schaefer drawing 1,000 people -- including the largest turnout of blacks for the governor in the county. The same week, Williams is agreeing to head a newly formed committee to monitor Prince George's school student suspensions.

Tune in on the popular and influential WHUR-FM radio talk show "Insight" every third Thursday evening and Williams, who is on leave from Howard University Law School, is leading the discussion on every issue from police harassment to combating drug use in the schools. The only other elected official with a permanent slot on the university radio program is D.C. Mayor Marion Barry.

After months of relative calm, all this activity -- and the nomination in Baltimore of Kurt L. Schmoke, who used the state's attorney's office as a springboard in the race for mayor -- have fueled speculation about what's next for Williams.

The first black to be elected countywide, Williams is seen as the natural beneficiary of the wellspring of black political power in the county. Since 1973, when Williams says he was one of four black lawyers in the county, the black population of Prince George's has grown to nearly 50 percent of the fast-growing county. And, as they are in Baltimore, blacks in Prince George's are a growing voice in political affairs and are demanding a turn at the reins of power.

"Alex is in a position to be the best black politician we've had," said Wayne Curry, a politically active black lawyer in the county who engineered Williams' campaign. "If Alex is able to enhance his standing, then the potential is there to realize . . . the untapped political clout of the black community in Prince George's."

But despite his momentum, the upward path for Alex Williams is not without obstacles.

As the most visible black political leader in the county, he also is the most logical target for critics who think he should be able to demonstrate more influence on many significant issues, among them school funding and judicial appointments. Some of the harshest criticism has come from several key blacks who campaigned for him but say he is not living up to their expectations.

The ambitious Williams also finds himself the victim of his own success, after a fashion. When he looks at the next steps up the political ladder, he finds them occupied by County Executive Parris Glendening and U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), two of the county's leading Democratic lights and two of Williams' major assets in his upset victory last year over 24-year veteran state's attorney Arthur A. (Bud) Marshall.

Most political observers foresee Williams avoiding a confrontation with Glendening or Hoyer in 1990. Rather, they expect him to seek a second term as state's attorney while he gathers support, particularly black support, for a campaign for a congressional seat after redistricting in 1992 or for the county executive's office in 1994.

"A lot of people are looking for someone to challenge either Parris or Steny," said a Hoyer aide. "Alex is the only one with any countywide recognition. He may or may not have visions of another office. But Alex is trying to establish himself . . . ."

Williams' aides say privately that the Schaefer reception, organized without the knowledge of the county Democratic leadership, was an effort to establish a link with the governor, independent of Glendening and Hoyer. During the campaign last year, Marshall tried to brand Williams as a product of the Democratic machine.

"The event was to drive home the whole concept of Alex's leadership," said a key Williams adviser. "When Alex was elected, there was a perception that he was not elected on his own, that Hoyer and Glendening picked him. We wanted to demonstrate that Alex has gotten to the point in this county that he is one of three leaders."

After nine months in office, the emerging picture of the soft-spoken Williams is of an ambitious politician who is methodically laying the groundwork for higher office. To follow up the highly successful Schaefer reception, Williams is planning a November event to raise campaign funds for himself. About that time, county residents will begin receiving a regular newsletter from the state's attorney to keep them abreast of his activities, an aide said. Also, Williams has hired a public information officer, a first for his department.

And Williams is moving to fill the vacuum in black leadership left by the absence of active involvement by former state senator Tommie Broadwater Jr. An organization of the 13 black elected county officials, the Prince George's Black Political Caucus, meets regularly at Williams' Cheverly home, and he heads the caucus' subcommittee on economic development, which is considered the primary issue in the black community.

As former chairman of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Williams played a crucial behind-the-scenes role in bringing together a coalition of blacks to confront a Glendening nominee to the bicounty utility authority last July. The coalition delayed the nominee's confirmation until it won key concessions from him to push WSSC to award a greater number of contracts to minority businesses.

"There is obviously a void in the black community {of} a person who could coalesce, pull together factions in the black community. Alex is attempting to fill that void," said a black political activist who cam-"Alex is in a position to be the best black politician we've had."

paigned for Williams. He, like several other Williams supporters, asked not to be identified.

Williams dismisses questions about his political future, saying: "I've just come from a draining enough campaign. I just want to relax." He bristles slightly at all the media attention focused on his first few months in office. His priority, he insists, is to get the state's attorney's office into shape with new lawyers, new office space and new computer equipment, and to settle into being the best prosecutor he can be.

Still, Williams does not hide the fact that he's interested in a political life beyond the county courthouse. "I'd be interested in moving forward," he said recently in an interview. "There are no openings right now. Glendening has made it clear that he's running for a third term. Hoyer is doing an excellent job in Congress."

Just as Williams is beginning to put his personal mark on county politics and the criminal justice system, criticisms have emerged. There were complaints about Williams saying publicly that the brutal reputation of the county police force is undeserved. And there is criticism that he has not made sweeping changes in the running of the state's attorney's office. Many of Marshall's deputies and staff continue to work for Williams, who did not order mass firings, as many people predicted. Critics also say that not enough blacks have been brought on board.

"Marshall might as well still be in there," complained one disgruntled black adviser to Williams. Others, more sympathetic to Williams, said they fear that Marshall's people may work against him at sensitive junctures.

Williams said he did not clean house because "we are not going to sacrifice experience, qualifications. We are trying to deemphasize black and white."

Four of the nine assistant state's attorneys Williams has hired since he took office have been black. Those additions boosted the minority staff to almost 25 percent. He has won points for wooing back to Prince George's Robert C. Bonsib and Robert H. Harvey Jr., highly regarded prosecutors who left the county during Marshall's tenure.

Some supporters are questioning Williams' judgment in cozying up to Schaefer, who at best enjoys a wait-and-see reputation in black county political circles. Schaefer lost badly in black Prince George's precincts in the gubernatorial race last fall and had somewhat strained relations with the black community in Baltimore during his 15 years as mayor.

"Given that the future of black political power entails the building of a bridge between Prince George's and Baltimore, what does {the reception} say to Schmoke and {Baltimore's} black city council members?" asked one of Williams' black campaign supporters who has grown critical of Williams since he took office.

Critics said that if Williams truly wants to be a political power broker in the county, he must do more than hold receptions for the governor. Williams should press the governor to consult him on appointments, to name more blacks as judges and to boost funding for county schools.

"There is going to have to be concrete policy that he's able to influence," said Alvin Thornton, a Howard University political science professor who is active in county politics. "We'd be exaggerating to say he has established his position as a power broker. He has, however, indicated he's a major voice in the community."