The D.C. police department prematurely sent out five layoff notices to police officers yesterday and then quickly rescinded them -- but not before one five-year veteran received hers and fainted.

The on-again, off-again layoffs for 204 police officers took a new twist when the department sent to each division reduction-in-force notices to be distibuted to the 204 affected officers today.

But somehow, a few officers were given their notices yesterday. Christene Armwood, an officer in the communications division, got hers. She fainted and had to be taken by ambulance to the Washington Hospital Center, where she was treated and sent home.

Upon learning that the layoff notices were being distributed, City Administrator Elijah Rogers immediately instructed the police department to rescind the notices. He said the notices were not to be distributed until Aug. 1.

Rogers said he plans to discuss with Chief Burtell M. Jefferson when the notices will be distributed.

Last month, the mayor's office direc ted the police department to halt plans to distribute layoff notices to 204 police officers in apparent anticipation that Congress would assure the money in the city's budget.

The layoffs in the police department and cuts in other city agencies are needed as part of the city's efforts to absorb higher operating costs and still have a balanced budget in 1981.