I asked the same thing yesterday and did not see a reply. If you go into the security section from the settings, it just asks if you want to change the password. Wonder if there is an app that will deal with this? I read a little bit about it yesterday and it seems the lack of a password protect and the lack of an ability to wipe the phone clean remotely was a big road block for many big corporations to allow people to use the Eris for work purposes. After reading that, I guess I am okay with having to enter a password. But it would be nice if it could be shorter or could be a symbol you draw rather than four letters.
Wohoo figured it out! Download the ScreenModeWidget from the apps store. Go to an open spot on your desk top. Press and hold. Install the widget (it is an Android Widget). Click the show notify icon and okay. It will place three buttons on your desktop. Autosleep keeps things the way you have them right now w/password and swipe unlock. Awake Stay will put your droid to sleep, but you can just open it again with the red power button. Screen stay keeps the screen on all the time unless you hit the sleep button. The reviews claim a lot of glitches, but so far so good for me! I was so annoyed all day.