Uniformed police officers wearing bulletproof vests and squad cars armed with shotguns swarmed over Chesapeake Terrace in Southeast Washington yesterday as a revamped version of Operation Clean Sweep was born.

For the first time, police officers knocked on doors of residences that they believe are used as crack houses, drug shops or havens for out-of-town drug dealers trying to set up beachheads for drug sales here.

"The message is {that} Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, is not conducive to drug trafficking, and we're going to chase them {out-of-town dealers} back to wherever they came from," said Lt. Robert Sheaffer of the 7th District vice squad, who supervised yesterday's operation.

"I want to remind them that we're running the city, not them," Sheaffer said.

Operation Clean Sweep, the D.C. police department's controversial crackdown on the city's teeming drug markets, which was launched in August 1986, was essentially halted last month under the weight of overtime pay costs totaling more than $6 million.

The earlier version targeted open drug markets -- estimated at 60 citywide -- where people sell drugs on streets and in alleys, parking lots, cul-de-sacs and apartment courtyards. But yesterday, police without search warrants paid "official visits" to about 30 addresses where informants had told them drug activity was centered.

"We're going at it two ways: the outside of the locations and, second, we're going to make an official visit to assumed crack houses, drug distribution centers," Sheaffer said, standing outside an apartment building in the 4200 block of Fourth Street SE where he said a crack house had been operating.

The first victim of the new Clean Sweep was a young man arrested at 5:15 p.m. on Chesapeake Terrace with what police said were packets of PCP-laced marijuana. He was handcuffed and brought to the ground by heavily armed officers who peeled off his five layers of socks looking for drugs. "Naw, oh man. Don't!" cried the unidentified man, tears rolling down his face.

D.C. Council member Wilhelmina J. Rolark (D-Ward 8), whose ward includes much of the police department's 7th District, rode in the back seat of Sheaffer's unmarked car during yesterday's operation.

"I'm very encouraged about this, to see the reemergence of Clean Sweep, because it can have nothing but a positive effect on the war on drugs that we're all concerned about," Rolark said, after watching officers surround and enter a three-story brick apartment building.

Lt. Thomas McCauley, daytime watch commander of the 7th District, said, "We're going to be using all the techniques we used all through 1987 -- undercover operations, high visibility, pro-active police patrols, buy-bust situations . . . just surveilling areas" and using "jump-out" squads to arrest dealers and buyers observed by surveillance teams.

Traffic police, motorcycle, escort and scooter officers, as well as some members of the elite Emergency Response Team were drawn from the department's Special Operations Division to strengthen the Clean Sweep force.

Yesterday afternoon, hours before the official kickoff of the revamped drug crackdown, a police roadblock -- a tested Clean Sweep technique -- stopped passing motorists at Chesapeake and Eighth streets SE. Police officers were enthusiastic at the prospect of overtime pay and making a dent in the city's growing drug trade.

"We're not sneaking around today -- we want to be seen," said Sgt. Bill Aleshire as he fastened an orange fluorescent police department shield to the arm of his camouflage jacket. "Everyone's wearing a bulletproof vest -- it's too dangerous not to," said the 20-year veteran. "Anything can happen. You've got to be prepared."