Deputy Dickens was shot and killed while responding to a bank robbery in progress. One of the two suspects was later shot and killed by other officers. The second suspect was arrested and convicted of robbery and murder of a peace officer. He was sentenced to death but the sentence was reduced to life without parole in 1972 when the death penalty was abolished.
Deputy Dickens had served with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department for 9 years. He was survived by his wife three daughters, sister, and mother.