An angry D.C. Council member Wilhelmina Rolark (D-Ward 8) said yesterday that if Mayor Marion Barry cuts back Operation Clean Sweep she will recommend that the police department hire 150 new officers to compensate for the decline in police presence in the city's drug trafficking areas.

Rolark's proposal, which would cost an estimated $5 million, came at a news conference held in response to recent news reports about proposed cutbacks in police overtime pay for the highly visible Clean Sweep program.

"Operation Clean Sweep is largely funded through police overtime and it is this cost that some claim is too large to continue the program in its current program," said Rolark, who heads the council Judiciary Committee which oversees the police department.

Rolark, who last month held a council oversight hearing on the department's deployment of officers, said police officials reported spending $4.7 million in overtime pay for Clean Sweep in fiscal 1987.

That figure is about one-fourth of the total $16.4 million that officials said was spent in overtime for police officers during the same period. Thus, Rolark said, the new police positions could be financed through current overtime funding.

Clean Sweep, which has netted more than 29,000 arrests and drugs with a street value of $12 million, has been highly praised by residents who live in neighborhoods where dealers gather on streets to sell drugs. Generally when the police are present, the dealers move on.

Several council members -- including Rolark, who is up for reelection this year -- have been pressured by residents to do something about the escalating drug traffic.

Earlier this week, the mother of a 17-year-old involved in drug trafficking sought refuge in the offices of council member H.R. Crawford (D-Ward 7) after her son put her out of her home. At a town meeting attended by more than 100 persons at Dunbar High School on Thursday night, many residents complained to council member Harry Thomas Sr. (D-Ward 5) about the drug problems in their Northeast neighborhoods.

Any reduction in drug enforcement, Rolark said, "will send a message to drug dealers that they have won the battle with the police and now is the time to expand their drug trafficking operations."

Rolark, who has complained that Southeast receives less police protection than the more affluent areas of the city, said, "We can't let this be a successful public relations effort and stopped."

Council member Jim Nathanson (D-Ward 3), who represents the affluent Northwest areas west of Rock Creek Park, said he supports Rolark's proposal. "Operation Clean Sweep is a visible message to everybody that drugs are bad," he said.

Rolark said she had not talked with Barry or D.C. Police Chief Maurice T. Turner Jr. about the proposed cutbacks, and she did not know who is behind the reduction.

Asked yesterday about the proposed cutbacks, Barry said, "It's premature to comment on rumors and innuendos. We are examining each and every aspect of our war {against drugs}."

Council member John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2), who heads the council's Committee on Finance and Revenue, said he hopes the mayor and council members will look at any proposed cutbacks in police enforcement from a practical rather than political point of view. He said the police overtime pay budget for fiscal 1987 was more than double that of 1986.

"I think the situation is depressing," Wilson said. "Real information is not being made available. Decisions are going to be made in hysteria and not made with sensible and calm heads."